Call for details on nursing bid

PUBLISHED: 02:37 07 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:18 24 May 2010

AN EMERGENCY meeting has been held to discuss plans to relocate rural nurses from across North Somerset to a single base in Nailsea. The meeting was called by North Somerset Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel after members heard the proposals were due to

AN EMERGENCY meeting has been held to discuss plans to relocate rural nurses from across North Somerset to a single base in Nailsea.The meeting was called by North Somerset Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel after members heard the proposals were due to be implemented by North Somerset Primary Care Trust by April next year.Currently, practices across North Somerset have district nurses working alongside GPs. But under the new scheme nurses would be based in Nailsea and travel out to practices and homes in areas such as Churchill and Wrington if needed. Otherwise patients would have to travel to Nailsea for treatment.Many doctors, nurses, patient groups and parish councils in rural areas have voiced strong concerns about the move. They fear the changes could be damaging for relationships between nurses and GPs who often have to discuss the particular needs of a patient.At a meeting in Winscombe on Wednesday, director of nursing and provider services Gill Blackshaw said: "It is desirable, achievable and would have little impact on the patients."Cllr Ann Harley voiced her concern that the PCT appeared to be suggesting the present service provided by district nurses in rural areas was poor and this was in direct contrast to her own experiences and what she was hearing from patients, doctors and nurses.Chris Born, chief executive of the PCT, and Mrs Blackwell said they were at a loss to know how to convince the panel the move would help patients.The panel said the PCT needed to listen to the public and members concluded there was little evidence to support the trust's proposals.Members of the panel will hold an emergency meeting in January next year and will invite patients, nurses and doctors to take part so they can have firsthand information to make a decision.The PCT will also be asked to provide evidence and paperwork to back up its studies on how the move will benefit patients.

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