I write regarding the closure of the Mill Stream Medical Centre in Storrington.
Along with many others I have written to the NHS several times over the last two years regarding the problems we were having with our doctors’ surgery.
One of the partners left, the other partner wasn’t allowed to practice and the centre manager also left. I personally had seen seven different locums in this two year period, not what I call continuity!
As we were hearing so many rumours as to the reasons why, I wrote and asked the surgery and the NHS for some straightforward answers. All that I received (and everyone else) by way of reply was a standard note saying that the problems were being addressed and that it wouldn’t be too long before everything was back to normal.
I had the same reply to two of my letters and no acknowledgement at all regarding another two letters.
The NHS was fully aware of the situation over two years ago, it also had constant letters of enquiries on the same subject during this period.
What has the NHS actually done? Nothing. Nothing at all. Closed its eyes, closed its ears, closed our surgery.
We now have over 4,000 people scrambling around looking to register with other surgeries in either Storrington, Steyning, or Pulborough.
Our letter from ‘NHS England’ says that these doctors are ‘ready to welcome new patients’.
A thousand or more new patients per practice? I think I would be somewhat apprehensive if I was a current patient in any of them!
I do sincerely hope that our more elderly patients will be given every help possible to register with a new doctor. We all know that some can be confused by official letters, some may just not understand and simply not bother.
What will these people do in the future if they require a doctor? Can you hear those receptionists saying ‘sorry, but...’.
So, if you know a confused or elderly neighbour, please ask them if they understand what’s going on and help them if they’re not sure. Don’t expect the NHS to contact them personally.
Just so we don’t forget, the NHS isn’t ‘free’ - just think of all of those thousands of pounds of direct and indirect taxes we all have to pay.
Hormare Crescent, Storrington