Witney News - Opposition to proposed GP dispensary changes

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Opposition to proposed GP dispensary changes

West Oxfordshire District councillors have expressed grave concerns about the proposed changes to GP dispensary services as outlined in the Government White Paper.

A motion put forward by Cllr Hilary Biles and Cllr Jill Dunsmore at a meeting of the Full Council today (June 18th) opposes the changes on the grounds that the loss of services will have a negative impact on the well-being of West Oxfordshire residents.

Cllr Hilary Biles, Cabinet Member Leisure, Health & Tourism, has been involved with several public meetings about the White Paper and said the level of concern was so great that every GP surgery in the District had expressed fears about the proposals.

She said that as well as a reduction in dispensary services for members of the public, the plans would have an adverse effect on surgeries’ finances and could lead to a loss in services and even a reduction in GP staffing levels at some practices.

Cllr Biles added: “In rural areas such as West Oxfordshire, we need to keep our services local…on the one hand, we should not be alarmist. On the other hand, if we do not question the Government’s White Paper now we will live to the rue the day we did not take any action.”

The motion was agreed unanimously by all councillors present and a letter will now be sent to the Secretary of State for Health outlining the Council’s concerns. The issue will also be referred to the Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee and the matter is being raised with the Member of Parliament for Witney, Rt Hon David Cameron.

Posted : 18/06/2008 22:31:51

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