I read with horror the article in the County Times where Simon Dean and Minesh Patel outlined their proposals for closing the in-town surgeries and building a replacement surgery at Broadbridge Heath with ‘the potential to deliver general practice at scale’.
I think this expression is the key to the problem - most people do not want a large-scale delivery of GP services, they want a moderate sized practice with four, five or six GPs who they can get to know over time, and who can be familiar with the history of individual patients and their families, and who can therefore offer a much more rounded and valuable service to them.
A new surgery at Broadbridge Heath is obviously going to be needed to accommodate the residents of all the new housing, but this should not mean that existing residents lose their in-town surgeries.
It is not just the elderly who will suffer, having to use a car or take two buses to get to Broadbridge Heath, but people of all ages who now can walk to their surgeries while in town - are we not meant, as with the park and ride arrangement, to be promoting less use of cars rather than more?
I have been a patient at the Courtyard Surgery for 12 years and have always found the service excellent; an emergency appointment is always available on the same day and it is rare to wait more than a day or so for a non-urgent appointment - when you visit it is not crowded, the purpose-built surgery is calm and welcoming.
The facilities are also excellent - recently my husband was able to access an ECG machine in the surgery on the same day as telephoning, and the staff who know the patients are helpful and friendly.
If there is a pressing need for a new surgery, why not create another medium sized one in Horsham Hospital, which is also relatively central, or perhaps on the office site to the north of the station which has stood empty for years?
Dr Dean stated in your article, ‘The reason we are coming out (with plans) is to get your views’.
I hope that he listens carefully to the views of the people of Horsham - in the following edition of the County Times I read many letters against these proposals and not one in favour.
Chesworth Gardens, Horsham