Vote Poll and Forum on Audlem's local GP service

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The new Vote Poll asking the vital question: "Do you think it's important for Audlem to retain its own GP practice?" is well underway. You can vote by clicking on Yes/No or Unsure in the Vote Poll box to the right of the screen and then on 'Vote Now'.

So far, the voting has been virtually unanimous. It is important to vote, however, as the public services take 'consultation' very seriously and this Vote Poll will be, on the voting pattern so far, a clear message to the decision makers in the NHS.

The Vote Poll follows concerns raised by the Audlem Medical Practice on Audlem Online on 20th May detailing how GP services may be provided in future by commercial companies and through 'polyclinics' staffed by 25 or so GPs. A Forum discussion is also just starting. You can add your thoughts by clicking on Forum, then on the subject in bold and then scroll down to 'Add your comments'.

Local resident, Peter Morgan has made his feelings felt in a message posted yesterday, so much so that we have now published them as an article on the homepage. He says:

"Residents of Audlem and district have been privileged to have had a local medical practice based in the village for a couple of centuries or so. The threat to our local practice posed by the remorseless rise of the Nantwich polyclinic should not be underestimated. Under the current political regime, big government and big everything else is the order of the day, often with little thought given to the consequences.

"If the intention is to provide a local base where minor operations/medical procedures will be carried out and where the immediate Nantwich medical practices can be accommodated, then fine. But if the intention is to subsume all local GPs within South Cheshire and expect their patients to travel in for appointments, then it will be a disaster on many fronts.

"Obviously the NHS beancounters will have calculated that the new polyclinic's close proximity to the bus station will meet part of its 'green target' and thus the 80 odd parking spaces lost to the clinic's construction will not matter, except that is to the many sick patients travelling in by car, because of the infrequent or non existent bus services in rural areas. "Also there will be those who do not have a car or are unable, often for medical reasons, to drive. They will be forced to rely on friends, neighbours and taxis or alternatively, hang around the bus station for half a day or more with the possibility of a long walk at the other end.

"Another factor to take into account will be the impact on our pharmacy. Prescriptions make a very significant contribution to their business and the inevitable loss of it to Nantwich pharmacies would jeopardize its continued existence, providing yet another blow to the village.

"Audlem has its own excellent, modern, purpose built medical facility, providing local care to the community. It would be foolish and regressive in the extreme, were it to be lost, because of the centralising concepts of 'big government'."