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5th September 2012
Steve Lowden discusses access to local healthcare services
Almost all of the people at the meeting of the Corby British Steel Pensioners' Club yesterday (4th September) were very much aware of the health challenges faced by their local community. Many shared their experiences - good and not so good - of accessing local healthcare services and we talked at length about access to GPs. Some people felt they had to wait a long time to see a GP of their choice, whilst others had not had this experience. We also had an interesting discussion about why there aren't enough GPs and consultants in some specialties and this then led to a debate about how more young people could be encouraged into the profession.
There was support for the case for change, but a number of people wanted to know if the changes announced that morning about the Cabinet re-shuffle, particularly a change in the Secretary of State for Health, would have an impact on the Healthier Together programme. They were reassured to learn that this is very much a commissioner-led programme and that the concerns they had raised today would be fed back to the local Clinical Commissioning Group as well as the Healthier Together programme team.
I would like to thank the committee and members for their hospitality - unfortunately we could not stay for lunch, but the drinks (non-alcoholic of course!) were much appreciated.
No hospitals will close. Northampton, Kettering, Milton Keynes, Luton & Dunstable and Bedford will all continue to provide most local services
All five hospitals will have an A&E and maternity service
Our first priority is safe, sustainable, high quality services
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