PROPOSALS to relocate the GP out-of-hours service to the Royal Bolton Hospital have been blocked by health chiefs.

The Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, which funds the service, submitted proposals to move it from Waters Meeting Health Centre, in Waters Meeting Road, to the hospital site to save £347, 000 per year.

But Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) did not approve the plans on grounds that moving the service to the hospital would contradict plans to provide more care in the community.

Parking fees at the Royal Bolton were also cited as a disadvantage of the move.

Dr Wirin Bhatiani, CCG chairman, said: “The CCG’s primary considerations are the provision of high-quality care for patients and ensuring we commission the best services we can with the public money available.

“The GP out-of-hours service is one option for those who need urgent care when their GP surgery is closed.

"People can also choose to seek advice from their pharmacist or ‘self care’, which simply means taking care of oneself.

"Accident and emergency units should only be used for serious or life-threatening conditions.”