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Health centre fight gains new strength
CAMPAIGNERS are stepping up the battle to try to save a popular Saturday surgery from the axe.
The emergency service, at the Oaklands Surgery, at the Central Canvey Primary Care Centre, in Long Road, Canvey, was set up in 2009 to alleviate the strain on nearby A&E services at Basildon and Southend Hospitals.
The service could now be axed, after health officials deemed it too costly to run, claiming many patients are using it for non-emergency problems when they could wait to see their regular GP.
Canvey county, borough and town councillor, Ray Howard , has vowed to fight to keep the sessions going and has now been joined by political heavyweights, Pam Challis , leader of Castle Point Council, and Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris.
All three will be writing to the South East Essex Primary Care Trust asking them to reconsider shutting the service.
Members of the Oaklands Surgery patients participation group are also planning to fight the closure.
Mrs Harris said: “I fully support councillor Howard on this. “Although it could be argued the trial didn’t relieve much pressure from local A&Es, it is clearly a popular service that residents want and use.”
Mr Howard said: “Saturday is the busiest day in terms of traffic on the A13 and people in Castle Point shouldn’t have to go all the way to Southend for medical help when we already have it here. “Why should we allow them to take away something which people here deserve?
“I am so pleased to be getting so much support on this. “We can’t lose the service and I will do all I can to stop it closing.”
The threat to the clinic was revealed in a report to an Essex County Council health overview and scrutiny committee meeting last week.
A spokesman from the Castle Point and Rochford clinical commissioning group, which runs the centre, said: “We are continuing to liaise with patients and our review of the service is ongoing.”
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