LONG-AWAITED national guidance about NHS urgent care services has been released.

The NHS England guidance includes the retention of walk-in centres as part of urgent care.

Bury North’s MP James Frith has welcomed the guidance and said: “I met with senior bosses from NHS England and expressed my strong desire to see this guidance released sooner, given the uncertainty caused to local services like Bury walk-in centre.”

He added he was ‘very pleased with the reassurances it gives that walk-in centres can remain a vital component of health services’.

Bury’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has welcomed the release of the guidance but chief officer Stuart North said: “We will absorb this whilst we await the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership view on the national guidance to inform the composition of urgent care services across Greater Manchester.”

The future of the walk-in centres has been uncertain, with them set to be closed and a consultation launched on the future of urgent care in Bury.

In March the consultation was paused as NHS England announced it would be releasing guidance on urgent care services nationally.

The general election delayed the release of this guidance.

Earlier this month the CCG announced both Bury and Prestwich walk-ins would remain open until at least March.

As part of powers devolved to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the GM Health and Social Care Partnership is also considering the composition of urgent care services across the region.

Once guidance from the health and social care partnership has been released the CCG will ‘reassess’ its urgent care redesign proposals.