Hospitals - not GP - wil treat minor cuts and bruises?

PUBLISHED: 06:03 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:28 24 May 2010

PATIENTS in rural areas with minor injuries should not be treated at doctors' surgeries but made to travel to Weston General Hospital - according to a committee of health experts. North Somerset Primary Care Trust's executive committee voted to withdraw t

PATIENTS in rural areas with minor injuries should not be treated at doctors' surgeries but made to travel to Weston General Hospital - according to a committee of health experts.North Somerset Primary Care Trust's executive committee voted to withdraw the funding to GP surgeries for treating minor injuries such as cuts and bruises, forcing patients to travel to Weston or Clevedon for treatment.Doctors and practice managers across North Somerset were shocked by the proposal, saying it penalises rural patients. Weston's MP John Penrose and councillors across the area have also slammed the ideas.The PCT has said the plans are only recommendations and it will not take it forward as it stands. It promises to consult with GPs, practices and patient representatives before any action is taken.Dr Richard Lawson at The Surgery in Congresbury said: "I can't be doing with the new contracts. I'm sick to my stomach with how the health service is going. I will see my patients and do my best for them. If someone asks for help that is what they will get and I'm not concerned with nit-picking and box-ticking."Practice manager at Wrington Vale Medical Practice in Churchill, Jose Tarnowski, said: "This cut to front line services would seriously disadvantage the practice and its patients compared to those in more urban areas because of transport issues."We are shocked to hear the proposals and hope the PCT will consult closely before making any decisions."Mr Penrose said: "The idea has to be a non-starter. We're short of GPs in this area, so we should be investing in an improved and expanded service, not cutting it. "It shows the terrible state of our local NHS if drastic measures like this are even being considered."A PCT spokesman said: "General practitioners and patient representatives will be involved in work to consider whether an alternative scheme can be developed. "It is hoped this work will proceed quickly, but any new scheme which is devised will be subject to full discussion before a final decision is made and appropriate notice given to those who provide the service.

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