Thousands of people, including some of the poorest and most vulnerable in Norwich, will be hit if the axe falls on the city's walk-in centre, an MP has warned.

Clive Lewis, Norwich South MP said it would make "no sense at all" for health bosses to close the centre, which is at the centre of a public consultation over its future.

The centre, in Rouen Road, could be closed after the current contract to run the services ends, with health bosses saying they might get better value for patients by providing care in a different way.

Eastern Daily Press: The Norwich Walk-In Centre in Rouen Road could be shutThe Norwich Walk-In Centre in Rouen Road could be shut (Image: Archant 2020)

But Labour MP Mr Lewis said: "It's no exaggeration to say that if they take away our walk-in centre, tens of thousands of us will miss it and local voluntary organisations are telling me it'd be terrible for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the city.

"There's no doubt that increasing poverty, disadvantage and inequality means more people are getting ill. In the midst of this, it makes no sense at all to consider closing our walk-in centre."

Mr Lewis said people should not be asked to pick between the promise of improved GP services or continuing to have both - because both are needed.

Alice Macdonald, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich North, urged people to make their views known in the consultation and said: "At a time when the NHS is in crisis and patients are facing record waiting times, we need to preserve the walk-in centre which provides essential services to so many people in our area."

Patients in need of health care are currently able to attend the centre without making an appointment and it has previously been praised for diverting patients away from under-pressure hospital accident and emergency departments.

NHS Norfolk and Waveney's public consultation into the centre's future, triggered because the contract with One Norwich Practices, which runs expires next year, is at

Two out of three options being considered will see the centre shut down in its current form, while a third option will see it resume as normal.

A survey carried out by patient watchdog Healthwatch Norfolk showed more than two-thirds of patients who use the centre said their experience was positive.