The Horizon Centre is under threat of closure this month. We object to the closure and believe it is a financially motivated decision that is not in the best interests of patients. We are concerned that there has been no public consultation about the closure and that communication with patients about alternative arrangements has been woefully inadequate, leading to unnecessary distress.
United for Change is petitioning Salford’s health commissioners and other decision makers to investigate this issue and make a commitment, in writing, to honour the primary health care needs of asylum seekers living in salford, including those experiencing, or at risk of, destitution. Further, should the closure go ahead as planned, we ask that they commit to carrying out a full review of primary health care arrangements after six months, taking into account both the experiences of former Horizon Centre patients, and feedback from voluntary sector agencies that support asylum seekers in the Salford area. We also ask that they commit to an assessment of the training/ support needs of mainstream GPs, healthcare workers and support staff such as receptionists in order to ensure they are equipped to deliver an adequate service to patients, particularly in relation to mental health and communication needs.