Bill Esterson MP says Melling patients are victims of Tory-Lib D

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with residents outside the Melling Surgery.


East Sefton's Labour MP Bill Esterson said residents in Melling were the victims of NHS reforms which put patient care at the bottom of the priority list.

The MP has been campaigning for Melling Surgery to restore its original opening hours after patients complained about the newly introduced part-time opening hours.

Bill immediately made contact with surgery GP Dr Faisal Maassarani to demand a return to the original full-time opening hours and he called on NHS England to step in.

After being given assurances that the Waddicar Lane surgery would return to the original five-day full-time operation, the MP has now discovered that the revised opening hours include the centre being closed on Tuesday and Friday.

Bill said it wasn't good enough for the people of Melling.

Bill said: "I was informed by NHS England that the surgery would be back to its original opening times and Melling patients would no longer have to trek to Tower Hill to see their GP. But this week I discovered that this isn't the case at all. Instead of opening Monday to Friday as it had been, the surgery is actually closed Tuesday and Friday.

"I'm left wondering if NHS England were simply unaware of the original opening hours.

"But either way, this isn't what the patients of Melling want and it isn't what was agreed. I am again pushing Dr Maassarani to return to the full-time opening hours and I am calling on NHS England to fully investigate.

"Government reforms to the NHS are first and foremost money focused and this is at the expense of patient care. We are seeing this in Melling and we are seeing this in areas throughout Sefton Central and the country. I'm campaigning for the patient and the patients' rights to get good quality care."

Bill has been working with Melling Parish Council to get the surgery times restored to full-time. Earlier this year nearly 500 residents in the village put their names to a petition. The MP said this shows the level of concern in the community over the issue.

Bill said: "Melling is a fairly small community, so to get so many people signing a petition shows exactly what people here think. Since we handed the petition over I have received countless emails and letters from patients too.

"In my conversations with people here, it is clear that no one is happy with the changes to the surgery times. For patients who need to see their doctor, they've been told they have to travel to the Towerhill Surgery. Public transport isn't ideal between Melling and Towerhill and not everyone has their own transport.

"What we now have here is a part-time surgery, which is not in the interests of this community which is made up of a large proportion of older people who need easy access to a GP as and when they need it.  

"As far as the residents of Melling are concerned, this is not acceptable, and that is why so many people from this community have signed the petition opposing these revised times. They have my backing together with the backing of the parish councillors. I'd like to thank Melling Parish Councillors Gerry Lee, Ron Baker and their colleagues for their ongoing hardwork on this issue.

"Together, we are continuing to call on Dr Maassarani to think again and NHS England to step in armed with the full facts and insist on a return to the full-time hours."


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