Time to share your views on future of medical services

DORSET Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been making its key decisions about the future of GP services in Lyme Regis, and about other community health services in Lyme and Charmouth.

As previously reported, Lyme Regis Medical Centre and the Kent House surgery will merge from June 1 under the leadership of Dr Forbes Watson.

The CCG is now in the final stages of also agreeing a provider for community services.

On Tuesday, April 9, between 2pm and 6.30pm, the CCG is inviting all interested residents in Lyme and Charmouth to drop in at Woodmead Halls to discuss the new arrangements.

By then it will be known who is providing community services. So this occasion will give everyone the chance to meet, individually, with staff leading the developments for the GP services and for community services, as well as CCG officials.

Chris Boothroyd, chairman of LymeForward’s Health and Wellbeing Group, has commented on these developments. He said: “In June 2017 the CCG stated its intention to have one General Practice in Lyme, so its decision was no surprise and confirmed the outline information given to medical centre patients last November and reported in LymeOnline that month under the heading ‘New provider to be appointed for medical centre’.

“More than 18 months after that first announcement, it’s good that some detail is emerging, particularly that the excellent staff at the medical centre have at last been told what is happening and are being involved in the merger.

“If we read the signs correctly, continuity of staff, care and services will be paramount.

“A new contract for community services will offer a fresh start and the chance for some properly-integrated health and care locally.

“With energy and imagination from leaders of the new GP and community health set-up, this is a rare opportunity to create cohesive and responsive services, despite the national shortage of money and resources for the NHS.

“Medical and social care involves lots of different organisations, and LymeForward will continue urging them to recognise what residents need. Now that the CCG has publicised the way ahead, we can all have our say.

“The event on April 9 must not be simply about receiving information. It is an opportunity, before the new services begin in June, to speak directly to the people who will be providing those services and to explain what is important to each of us.

“Now, before things settle down, is the best chance to influence what happens. So let’s have Lyme and Charmouth turning out in force, and in good voice.”

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