'Tory MP scare-mongering over NHS reforms'

SIR – Grant Shapps MP s repeated claims that local GP surgeries are under threat from the new GP-led health centre to be created at the QE2 amount to disgraceful scare-mongering. Local GPs have complained to me that their patients are being frightened

SIR - Grant Shapps MP's repeated claims that local GP surgeries are under threat from the new GP-led health centre to be created at the QE2 amount to disgraceful scare-mongering.

Local GPs have complained to me that their patients are being frightened with no good cause.

Of course Grant Shapps, as a Conservative politician, wants to attack the Government, but it is saddening to see him resort to scaring vulnerable local residents in this way.

Too many people find it hard to see a GP - appointments are hard to get and opening hours are limited.


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The new GP-run centre will ensure that local residents can see a doctor when they need to.

It will enable people to see a GP without having to phone first thing in the morning to make an appointment.

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GPs will be available from 8am to 8pm, seven days per week, much longer than current GP opening hours.

And the GPs at the new centre will have access to all the diagnostic equipment of the QE2.

This facility does not replace the accident & emergency unit we are sadly losing, but it is definitely a welcome and important addition to local NHS.

It is ridiculous to suggest that GP surgeries might close, and Grant Shapps will look very foolish when they do not.

With more homes being built in the borough we need more GPs and the fact that the Government is supporting that extra number is entirely good news.

Political debate is vital to the health of our democracy and I fully support Grant Shapps' right to attack the Government whether its decisions are right or wrong.

But false accusations that frighten the vulnerable are disgraceful in the extreme and should be withdrawn.

Mike Hobday,

Labour Parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield.

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