Councillors in Preston have pledged to strive to ensure that community voices and patient experience are “key drivers” for remodelling of GP surgeries as five clinics look set to be amalgamated.
Members of Preston City Council put their weight behind a motion to explore ways of using its relationships to leverage investment in the NHS and for accessible GP provision in the city.
It comes as proposals for five surgeries to relocate to Fulwood, merging their resources to create a super surgery, are due to come before planners on Thursday.
Coun Pav Akhtar, who laid out the motion at a meeting at Town Hall on June 27, warned that with local surgeries closing patients would be facing longer trips to get to their nearest health centre.
He said: “The very very simple reality is that people will not be able to access their GP and they will just present themselves to the hospital.”
Council documents say: “Closures risk leaving patients facing long waits, and a push towards hospital A&E services which are already under pressure.”
Coun Akhtar, who represents Plungington, went on to describe how he knew of a woman who was not able to get to a clinic to get a dressing on her hand changed.
“She showed me her hand with a bandage on it,” he said. “What she couldn’t do was get access to GP surgery to change the dressing. I sincerely thought about getting my sister to come down and change the dressing for her.”
He went on to propose “serious action to engage in the Our Health Our Care process”. The Our Health Our Care review examines how the delivery of the health care system can be improved and modernised.