New health centre will ease pressure on A&E

AS it becomes more and more apparent that St Neots will be having a new health centre/polyclinic, it would seem in our best interest that the healthcare consumers of St Neots participate in the process of its formation, so that the primary care trust can

AS it becomes more and more apparent that St Neots will be having a new health centre/polyclinic, it would seem in our best interest that the healthcare consumers of St Neots participate in the process of its formation, so that the primary care trust can create a facility useful to us all.

We should be concerned and aware that this new entity should not threaten continuity of patient care provided by local doctors' surgeries.

In The Guardian on Tuesday April 29, George Monbiot attempted to convince readers that this new scheme would kill GP surgeries and promote private for-profit companies. Does this necessarily have to be the case? Can't the two facilities endeavour to provide linked/continuous patient services in harmony?

The 2007 patient satisfaction survey for Cedar House and Dumbelton revealed that "local dissatisfaction" (mentioned in The Hunts Post of May 28) was related specifically to telephone access early in the morning. This basically involves those people who need an urgent appointment on the current day. It is in this capacity that the health centre can be most useful. All other aspects of the survey far exceeded patient and government expectations.

The new centre can also alleviate improper use of A&E services by providing triage services and walk-in care. The ideas are endless.

Let us take advantage of the opportunities provided to assist the PCT in providing a new facility that we can all use and be proud of by attending the consultation meetings and voicing our opinions.

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This is also a good time to stay informed by joining your local patient participation group.

CELESTE M BUSHNELL

Chairman

Cedar House and Dumbelton Patient Association

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