A NEW voice has joined the campaign to maintain services at Northwich’s infirmary.
A doctor spoke to Northwich Town Council at its latest meeting about proposals to cut the GP out of hours service at Victoria Infirmary Northwich (VIN). Dr Adrian Heald stressed that he was speaking as a private citizen when he addressed town councilors about the service, which has been under consultation because it is under-used.
A decision about reducing the service at VIN and moving the resources to Leighton Hospital was expected to be made in April but health bosses from East Cheshire NHS Trust decided to look into it further after public outcry in the initial consultation.
Speaking to town councillors, Dr Heald emphasised the difficulties for mid Cheshire patients travelling to Crewe if they did not own a car and said the current service should be advertised.
He said: “What I would propose is that the public of Vale Royal are made fully aware of the GP out of hours provision at VIN in evenings and weekends.
“There should be advertising on relevant websites – Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council and the hospital website – so the public are fully aware such provision exists.
“Following a public awareness campaign we could see if there’s increased uptake at VIN.”
He added: “VIN itself makes a very important contribution to the health of people in this area and it should be built on.
East Cheshire NHS Trust is expected to update Cheshire West and Chester councillors on its plans in July.