Health minister to visit GP practice in Chippenham
Updated 5:21pm Friday 25th April 2014 in By Julie Armstrong, Senior reporter
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is to visit Chippenham on Saturday morning and will meet staff at Rowden Medical Partnership.
The surgery on Rowden Hill, along with Chippenham’s two other surgeries, Hathaway Medical Centre and Lodge Surgery, are keen to run an urgent care centre out of the community hospital.
In September last year, Prime Minister David Cameron said he would like GP surgeries to open from 8am until 8pm and over the weekends, to fit in with the lifestyles of working people, and take the pressure off accident and emergency departments.
A £50m pilot scheme was rolled out across the country last month, but involves only 20 surgeries, none of which are in Wiltshire.
The three Chippenham practices put in a joint venture bid, not to open for routine appointments at weekends, but to offer an urgent care centre based in the town’s community hospital.
The centre would join up with local community nursing services and integrate the work of the surgeries with the community teams.
Michelle Donelan, the Conservatives’ prospective parliamentary candidate for Chippenham, is a patient at Rowden Surgery.
On hearing about its desire to open an urgent care facility, she invited Jeremy Hunt to meet with some of the doctors and practice managers.
She said: “I believe we need to prioritise the elderly and vulnerable in our communities and the local proposal would do this as well as help us to work in a smarter way.
"I invited The Secretary of State for Health to discuss the proposal with staff at Rowden Surgery to help them push the case.”
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