Hundreds pack GP meeting in Coniston to warn of threat to local doctors surgeries (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Hundreds pack GP meeting in Coniston to warn of threat to local doctors surgeries
CONCERNED Coniston and Hawkshead residents packed a school hall today amid fears they could lose their GP surgeries.
More than three hundred people piled into John Ruskin School, Coniston, for the emergency meeting organised by doctors from the two villages.
It follows a government’s announcement that small rural surgeries are to lose a major source of their funding which opponents say could force the closure of Hawkshead and Coniston surgeries.
Speaking at the meeting South Lakes MP Tim Farron said a new ‘block government grant’ of around £50,000 for each surgery could be the answer.
He said: “I want it to be a nice chunk of money that you can rely on. It’s not rocket science to come up with a formula to qualify you. It’s got to be made as simple as possible, and should be based on the simple running costs of a surgery.”
Around 50-60 other GP practices in the country would require the same money, he explained.
He told villagers he had tabled and Early Day Motion to bring the matter to the attention of Parliament, and encouraged everyone attending to write to NHS England, the British Medical Association and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, to voice their needs for the service.
Speaking after the meeting he said: “I feel positive that we will get what we want, but we still have a long way to go. We need to keep fighting.”
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