Protesters gathered outside a health centre on Friday to voice their opposition to the end of its walk-in services.

They expressed their disappointment at the decision to make Belmont Health Centre, in Kenton Lane, an appointment-only surgery from November 1.

According to Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the move, which is part of a wider NHS initiative, will improve access to primary care.

But those opposed to the decision believe it will harm people who rely on walk-in services.

They are concerned that waiting periods to get an appointment will increase and patients will be pushed towards accident and emergency centres.

Husain Akhtar, researcher at Harrow Monitoring Group, said: “It is very concerning that, at a time when GP appointments are becoming very difficult, such a vital NHS walk-in service is not available to residents anymore.”

Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick, who represents Headstone South ward, described the situation as symptomatic of what she believes to be the Government’s failure to protect the country’s health services.

Harrow East MP Bob Blackman, whose constituency includes Belmont Health Centre, “welcomed” the transition and said it will remove the waiting times experienced at walk-in centres.

The CCG said the centre will be able to treat the same number of patients it currently does – around 20,000 appointments a year – and slots are available seven days a week.

Patients will now need to book an appointment with the surgery or call NHS 111.

But only patients registered with a Harrow GP will be able to book appointments at Belmont.

Those in neighbouring areas such as Brent will have to contact surgeries in their boroughs.