LAKES MP Tim Farron has met with health minister Earl Howe as he seeks to keep two Lake District doctors’ surgeries open.
The viability of Hawkshead and Coniston surgeries has been under threat due to government funding changes.
Mr Farron said he has been pressing for a meeting with the minister to outline the issues.
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There are concerns from the GPs that because the surgeries are among the smallest in the country in terms of registered patients, local residents would face long round trips - involving a ferry journey - just for a simple GP check-up.
Mr Farron met with Mr Howe in the Department of Health in London.
Afterwards, he said the minister made it clear that he would keep an open mind, although he would not commit to any extra funding during the meeting.
Mr Farron said: “When we asked for his support to keep the two surgeries open, it wasn’t a straightforward ‘yes’, but it was far from a ‘sorry, no’, and the minister seemed very sympathetic to our arguments.
"He agreed it’s far from reasonable to expect local folk to have to take a ferry ride just to see their GP.
“I am very optimistic that we can work with the minister to keep our surgeries open—and the number one man in charge of GPs surgeries at the NHS will be coming up to the area to see what he can do to help.”