Retired GP backs GP campaigners in Ludlow and attacks health chiefs' tactics in row (From Ludlow Advertiser)
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Retired GP backs GP campaigners in Ludlow and attacks health chiefs' tactics in row
8:10am Thursday 5th April 2012 in News
A RETIRED doctor in Ludlow is backing calls for a surgery to be kept in the town centre.
Dr Nigel Hall spent 30 years as a GP in the town at the surgeries in Broad Street and Station Road.
The 67-year-old, who retired 10 years ago backs the new £27 million hospital although he would have liked more consideration to have been given to adapting the existing facility.
“But I support the new hospital but do not see why both surgeries have to be moved,”
said Dr Hall.
“It is about access and choice and both of these are being denied. To suggest that people who want to retain a town centre surgery are putting the new hospital at risk is blackmail.”
He said arguments that it was better that GP and hospital services should be on one site did not stand up and any referral to a hospital clinic or consultation would require a newappointment.
Dr Hall, is a member of the Ludlow Hospital League of Friends and has been advising the SALT (Save a Ludlow Town Centre Surgery) group.
“It is wrong to say that the ability for GPs to do minor surgery depends upon the new hospital because this has been happening at the existing one for a long time.
“Most patients coming to the surgery do not require investigation they come for routine matters, to make an appointment or to order or collect a prescription or to see the doctor or nurse for a consultation.”
In a letter to the Advertiser, Dr Hall accuses health chiefs of holding the threat of the plan being shelved over campaigners.
Joyce Brand, spokeswoman for SALT echoes that view and added:“The attempt to undermine the genuine concern felt about the impact of the loss of a doctor’s surgery in the town has dismayed us. The suggestion that we will carry responsibility for the loss of the Health Village if the project does not precede we construe as a threat.
“We thought seriously about bringing our efforts to a close.
“However, we cannot abandon a mandate from the more than 800 local people who signed t h e p e t i - tion to save a s u r - gery.”
LUDLOW’S Town centre residents association has dissociated itself from the campaign to get a last minute change of heart on plans for the hospital and health village on the Echo Park.
The Residents Association says it supports the hospital and does not back SALT.
Alison Cundall, chair of the residents association, has written to Ludlow MP Philip Dunne, backing the plans for thehealth village.
“This campaign is not supported by the LTCRA committee,” she said.
“The residents association committee recognises the hospital and new doctor’s facilities are of great benefit for the vast majority of people who may use them.
“We have been working to try to ensure that the bus service is enhanced and that there is adequate parking, both at the hospital and on the streets.
“We are also working with Shropshire council to support a car club for Ludlow. This would help those who are struggling to afford to run a car, as well as encourage people to give up second cars, thus reducing the numbers of cars parked on the street.