Conservatives welcome health centre reprieve

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Ribble Valley Conservatives have welcomed the reprieve for Slaidburn health centre after the long fight by the steering group.

The group met with NHS England, local team, MPs and lobbied the Government including Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health.

Rosie Elms, Slaidburn Conservative councillor and steering group chairman, said: “We welcome the initiative that has been taken which has resulted in East Lancashire Medical Services (ELMS) taking over the Slaidburn health centre and GP practice preserving the service for the residents of Slaidburn, Newton and Dunsop Bridge.”

The practice is in the process of being federated with ELMS, a not-for-profit social enterprise running the out-of-hours service for GP practices, two access centres, the acute visiting service and several dental practices. ELMS is committed to providing a service as close to the current one as possible.

The local GP Dr Massey will be employed by ELMS and the dispensary and treatment room will be kept open. All staff will continue to be employed under TUPE conditions. Negotiations should be completed by April 1st.

Ken Hind, deputy chairman of health and housing at Ribble Valley Borough Council (RVBC) said: “RVBC and local MP Nigel Evans got behind this campaign to keep the surgery open and avoid it being closed and patients redistributed to other surgeries with no choice of where they go.”

He paid tribute to the hard work of Dr Massey and her team, the steering committee and NHS England.