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Hope for future of Slaidburn GP practice after meeting
7:00pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
THE future of an under-threat health centre has been boosted after top level talks.
Slaidburn County Practice staff and Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans said they were ‘hopeful’ a short and long-term funding solution could be found after meeting with an NHS head in London to plug a £90,000 gap in the centre’s funding.
Fears were raised this summer that the site would be closed after the Government announced the money would be cut from its budget over the next seven years.
If shut, those who use the Townend practice would face journeys of eight miles or more to see a doctor in Clitheroe.
Three representatives from the 1,000-patient practice, Dr Jane Reeves, David Massey and Heather Harrison, met with Mr Evans and Rosamond Roughton, the national director for commissioning development at NHS England, to discuss the potential of creating alternative funding pots by the end of the year.
Deputy practice manager Mrs Harrison said: “The talks were very positive and she listened attentively to what we had to say.
“She said that the body was looking at putting extra funding in place which will be decided upon by the end of the year.
“At least if we get something we will have something to work with which will help us safeguard the centre and its services for our patients.”
At the meeting, the group also presented Ms Roughton with a petition signed by around 3,000 residents.
Mr Evans said: “I believe that we can find a short and long-term solution for Slaidburn Country Practice.
“I thought that the meeting was an incredibly positive one and I am very grateful to Rosamond for taking the time to meet with us and give us the opportunity to put across the importance of the practice and the difficulties that it is facing.
“I hope that NHS England will be able to offer a potential solution to the funding problem before the end of the year.
“I will continue to fight to ensure that the needs of the residents of Slaidburn, are not forgotten.”
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