Ease the burden

JUST who does Echo Irving think she is?

JUST who does Echo Irving think she is?

In her huffy and intemperate response to my recent letter regarding the proposed merger of Wrington and Churchill surgeries, she demonstrates the bankruptcy of Wrington's 'Save Our Surgery' (SOS) campaign.

Even her sleepy village must be aware that the future of GP surgeries (regardless of which administration is in power) is for larger, more cost-effective facilities. They will ease the burden on local hospitals, incorporate advances in modern medical practice and cope with the growing needs of an ageing population.

She is also clearly unaware that our current Government is already committed to scrapping the notion of practice boundaries within nine months. Now, more than ever before, the key public service principle of the NHS will be that of individual choice. And that is what I exercise by using the Wrington Vale Medical Practice (WVMP). Ms Irving's snide suggestion that I 'use the practice on his doorstep' spotlights her selfishness and that of her co-conspirators. They constitute a mere 22 per cent of the total WVMP patient base - the Wrington surgery is not the exclusive private property of their own little fiefdom.

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But don't just take my word for it. In a clear and authoritative letter, also in last week's Mercury, Dr Nicholas Hooper eloquently sets out the case for change. He asserts that an efficient, central, modern practice would allow proper provision to be made for the long-term health care needs of the whole community.

The fact that Dr Hooper was one of Wrington's respected GPs for nearly 35 years probably won't be enough to silence the strident SOS language of alarm, but his closing observation on our present doctors' intentions says it all - "they are trying to plan for the future and short-term thinking must be subordinated to a plan which looks after the needs of all, and allows the very best health provision in the years ahead."

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Perhaps Ms Irving and her chums should make these their watchwords for the New Year.


Church Road, Winscombe

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