Fight now to keep your GP

DOCTORS need our support now in a bid to prevent extensive closures of surgeries and to preserve the family GP. We need to fight tooth and nail against the Government s proposal to introduce large health centres and polyclinics across the country which co

DOCTORS need our support now in a bid to prevent extensive closures of surgeries and to preserve the family GP.

We need to fight tooth and nail against the Government's proposal to introduce large health centres and polyclinics across the country which could lead to cuts, closures, and privatisation within the NHS.

This national plan to introduce health centres and polyclinics could quite easily affect surgeries in Comet country and threatens to monumentally destabilise healthcare as we know it.

Dr Alex Smallwood, a GP at The Nevells Road Surgery in Letchworth GC, has vehemently spoken out against the plans and hundreds of patients have signed a petition at the surgery.


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He is not suggesting the current service is perfect, but that reinventing the wheel is not the most beneficial or economical way to go about things. A few tweaks here and there are perhaps all that are needed.

Personally, I am happy with the service I receive. Yes, I may have to linger on the phone for a few seconds more than I'd like to when making an appointment, and I may not be able to get an appointment immediately, but I have confidence in the treatment I receive and I am reassured by the personal service.

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I don't want to be a faceless name in a clinic so large I never see the same doctor twice, causing GPs to be unfamiliar with my medical records.

I fail to see what advantages polyclinics can offer patients. They will serve only to save the NHS money in the long term.

The proposals could risk the service patients receive, the continuity of care, and the convenience as patients may have to travel further to the new health centres and polyclinics.

If you want to retain your family doctor, act now and show your support by signing a petition at your surgery or at www.savemygp.co.uk or visit www.supportyoursurgery.org.uk

I'M no financial expert but I'm quite sure it's not a sound idea to give huge limit extensions to credit card holders given the current economic climate.

But despite the credit crunch and the fact the UK has been predicted by the European Commission to fall into recession before the year is out, the limit on my credit card has been increased by £1,500 - without me even asking.

I received a letter last week informing me of the 'good' news and was gobsmacked.

I very much doubt I was the only customer, hand-picked specifically, for such an increase. For this building society to increase goodness knows how many of its customers' credit limits without them even asking is irresponsible at any time, but in the current climate it's incredibly reckless and foolish.

Encouraging customers to get deeper into debt is unwise at the best of times, but this has happened at a time when banks are holding out their hands asking the Government for taxpayers' money to shore them up through the credit crisis.

The current credit crunch was caused by a sustained period of careless and inappropriate lending, so what bright spark thought it would be a good idea to continue in this vein?

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