'Get used to fewer doctors' - GP

NEW super surgeries could see the end of the traditional doctor surgery in Ipswich.As reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, a radical overhaul of healthcare is planned in Ipswich in the next ten years.

NEW super surgeries could see the end of the traditional doctor surgery in Ipswich.

As reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, a radical overhaul of healthcare is planned in Ipswich in the next ten years.

Eight super centres comprising of around 15 GP clinics and a range of diagnostic and treatment clinics such as X-rays and dermatology are set to replace some surgeries in the town.

The shakeup is being led by Ipswich Primary Care Trust who have worked in league with Ipswich Hospital and plans are due to be discussed today at a board meeting of the PCT.

It will help to cut waiting times at the hospital and it will mean that less people have to travel to the hospital for treatment but could also mean that some patients have to travel further to their surgery.

Lilian Power, chairman of Ipswich PCT said that there were some older surgeries that had been identified as a barrier to improvements and extending because the buildings did not lend themselves to the necessary upgrading.

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However she added that no GP would be forced to close and the plans are not set in stone.

Dr Gareth Richards, president of the Suffolk branch of the British Medical Association said: "It is about time that people recognised the limitations of GP's and health service funding.

"We can't be expected to continue to work flat out trying to provide that kind of family style service together with the level of knowledge and expertise that is expected of us.

"Patients are going to have to be prepared to travel and get used to the ideal there may be fewer doctors per head.

"It certainly makes financial sense and will make for a more professional and deliverable service. It is the same with supermarkets – why do they work so well? Because they provide everything people need under one roof."

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