Anxieties felt some 40 years ago

PUBLISHED: 10:22 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 May 2010

MUCH has been published in voicing objections to proposals for the provision of improved surgery facilities for the Wrington Vale Medical Practice, (WVMP) somewhat reminiscent of the anxieties felt some 40 years ago...

MUCH has been published in voicing objections to proposals for the provision of improved surgery facilities for the Wrington Vale Medical Practice, (WVMP) somewhat reminiscent of the anxieties felt some 40 years ago when the surgery which preceded the present Wrington premises was built.

This 'first' surgery replaced the earlier surgery wing incorporated in the house built for Dr Bell in the 1930s in Roper's Lane and was cause for misinformed speculation then, as now.

Why the transfer of the surgery site from Wrington to elsewhere should call into question the survival of the Wrington pharmacy is not clear: Wrington (and other) patients would surely be free to present prescriptions to the chemist in exactly the same way as at present.

Support for the local stores can hardly be dependent on the current location of the surgery bearing in mind the closure of the stores which occupied the site which is now the chemists, in addition to at least eight other retail facilities which have ceased. It is probably a more accurate reflection of the increasing commuter status of Wrington.

One of the MPs representing the area has asked for clarification regarding plans for the potential for private work, apparently another cause for concern which seems unquantified.

The heart of the 'Save Our Surgeries' campaign appears really to be an intent to preserve the present Wrington surgery. This is a very understandable sentiment but no doubt if the location for a proposed combined surgery was in Wrington itself the objections would largely disappear.

There would undoubtedly be great benefit in a combined surgery with all the support facilities as proposed. Not only would patients be relieved of the necessity to travel from one surgery to the other when medication or appointments are in the 'wrong' place, but the practice would probably lose fewer working patients to surgeries closer to places of employment.

However frequently a patient attends a surgery in whichever location, surgeries are the day-by-day working environment of the doctors, nurses, dispensers and administrative staff. They have to be so equipped as to attract the future generation of general practitioners and, at the same time, provide the services expected by patients.

The majority of patients undoubtedly appreciate how fortunate we are in the superb attention provided by the WVMP and, whilst grateful for the consultation process and opportunity to express views, would prefer to trust their medical practitioners with the ultimate decision on surgery premises.

JOHN GALLOP

Church Street, Blagdon

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