MP Ian Liddell Grainger

Medical centre closure ‘must not be permanent’

BRIDGWATER’S MP has joined the outcry against the closure of Victoria Park medical centre.

In a shock announcement last week the NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group informed patients the centre would be closed from Wednesday this week.

Families registered there have been told they will be automatically transferred to the books of other centres in the town.

But the closure has already received strong condemnation.

Directors at Victoria Park Community Centre say closing the medical centre and GP practice will be detrimental to the promotion of good health care, especially during a pandemic.

And Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, says the move is bound to cause dismay among patients who will now be transferred to unfamiliar practices and treated by unfamiliar staff.

“There are staff shortages wherever one looks in the NHS at the moment, for a variety of reasons,” he said.

“I accept all sections of the structure have been placed under immense additional pressure by the pandemic but withdrawing patient services abruptly and with the minimum consultation is not the kind of thing we want to see at a time when the public remain exceptionally in need of the reassurance offered by a local medical centre.

“The way forward is quite clear: the Clinical Commissioning Group must redouble its efforts to overcome the staff issues and reopen a centre which plays such an important role in local community life.

“I for one will not accept this is being a prelude to its permanent closure and neither, I am sure, will hundreds of Bridgwater people.”

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