MP backs bold health centre plans

A BRIGHT new future could be on the horizon for health care in a Suffolk town thanks to a group of pioneering doctors. Despite services at Newmarket Hospital being cut in a bid to slash mounting debts, the town could instead become home to state-of-the-art facilities designed to protect the provision of health care for the local community.

A BRIGHT new future could be on the horizon for health care in a Suffolk town thanks to a group of pioneering doctors.

Despite services at Newmarket Hospital being cut in a bid to slash mounting debts, the town could instead become home to state-of-the-art facilities designed to protect the provision of health care for the local community.

The proposals, which include building a new centre for out-of-hours services and a minor injuries clinic, are being spearheaded by doctors at the town's three surgeries who have submitted a business plan to the Suffolk West Primary Care Trust.

Dr Jeremy Webb, who works at the Orchard House Surgery, said the aim has been to support and enhance the primary care already on offer in Newmarket.


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“We could see where the future of healthcare in the town was going, and these plans have been in the pipeline for around a year,” he said.

“Although people still have access to out-patient services at the moment, it is something that must be protected, and we feel the key is improved diagnostics facilities.”

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Dr Webb said use of the new facilities would be shared between the three surgeries, including Oakfield Surgery and the Rookery Medical Centre.

“We don't want a new building to be used only some of the time, so it makes sense to have one centre which can be used by patients from all the surgeries,” he said.

“We are working very closely with the PCT and have now submitted our proposals, so we will just have to wait and see what happens.”

West Suffolk MP Richard Spring, who met with Dr Webb yesterday to discuss the proposals, welcomed the surgeries' ideas and hailed them a step forward for the provision of primary care.

“We are still fighting for Newmarket Hospital, but these proposals are an excellent alternative and I am very grateful to the GPs who have recognised the real problems in the town and are reacting to them,” he said.

“I was greatly encouraged to hear the surgeries have investigated the potential to provide new and more modern health services and treatments within the scope of primary care.

“In light of the devastating news about the future of Newmarket Hospital and the loss of beds, the town desperately needs a boost to enhance its confidence in local health services.”

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