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Residents urged to join in protest day as health centre closes

Monday, 9th July 2012.

Town councillors have issued a direct invitation to residents to join them in their day of action about the closure of the Crown Health Centre.

To mark closure of, councillors have approved a day of action on the closure date, Saturday, July 28, to demonstrate the town’s dismay at the withdrawal of £1.2million in primary health care services.

Councillors will be present at and around the Crown Health Centre, off Withersfield Road, on the day, inviting the public to show their determination to protect the town’s services, and to add their names to the petition calling for the closure to be delayed in order that proper plans can be made to re-invest the savings in local primary healthcare.

To date over 4,000 people have signed the petition, and the campaign has the support of local MP Matthew Hancock.

The original aim in setting up the centre was to reduce accident and emergency attendances. NHS Suffolk claims that this has not happened, and so they say the health centre must close.

Both registered and ‘walk-in’ patients with minor injuries will be asked to go to one of the other GP practices in the town in future.

The closure will save £1.2m a year, and there are no plans to use this money for the benefit of Haverhill.

Instead NHS Suffolk has offered the three remaining practices in Haverhill just £55,000 to enable them to deal with the 900 registered patients of the Crown, and 22,000 walk-in patients.

Their only other attempt to mitigate the impact of the closure to date is a one-day event to inform local people how to access healthcare.

With GP surgeries already under pressure and patients reporting appointment waiting times of up to two weeks, the feeling within the town is that the PCT is abandoning them, the town council claims.

A statement from town clerk Will Austin on behalf of the council says: "Haverhill’s population is expected to rise by some 10,000 by 2031 to some 35,000, a size that would warrant a local hospital.

"Instead of responding to this with appropriate planning, NHS Suffolk appears to be withdrawing from the town.

"Haverhill Town Council is determined to highlight the dangers posed to its community by NHS Suffolk’s cuts."

Haverhill Online News

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Hallrevhi, England Posted by Hallrevhi at 9:04PM on 12th July, 2012. (86.131.xxx.xxx)

Well what conclusion can we come too when a Member of Parliament votes for austerity measures and is a former adviser to the chancellor but is opposed to cuts in there own constituency ? I think Matthew Hancock MP should be honest and say we cannot afford the Crown health centre.


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