Labour MP Bill Esterson meets Melling Pensioners Association to

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson met with Melling Pensioners Association to discuss their concerns a



Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson met with Melling Pensioners Association who are campaigning against the decision by their GP which has seen surgery opening hours slashed.

The pensioners are campaigning against the reduction in hours at Melling Surgery on Waddicar Lane.

Dr Faisal Maassarani of Melling Surgery, which is a branch of Towerhill Surgery in Kirkby, recently announced the revised opening times were to be cut to Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm.

Last month Bill received a petition which had been signed by nearly 500 Melling residents opposing the change in hours.

Bill told the Melling pensioners that he had met with NHS England to discuss residents' concerns.

Bill said: "I met with NHS England to discuss the concerns that had previously been raised with me about the changes at the surgery and NHS England have agreed to investigate.

"I have also since had correspondence from Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group who have now accepted that a consultation with patients needs to take place to, as they say, 'outline the rationale' for the changes. During the consultation is taking place, they have now confirmed that Dr Maassarani is willing to add an extra session at Melling Surgery. This means there will be six surgery sessions to enable 'some afternoon cover'.

"So it would now appear that the campaigners are right that there was no consultation with patients and that there is not sufficient surgery time in Melling.

"This is a start, but is most certainly not enough, and I will take up their offer to meet with Dr Maassarani, together with representatives of the patient campaigners to discuss further the issues raised by the surgery's change in hours."

Bill said residents had told him that under the revised surgery times, patients faced a round trip of more than four hours to see a GP.

Bill said: "Assurances were given that there were two buses from Waddicar Lane to Tower Hill. But this simply isn't true and patients will have to get one bus to the Black Bull and another to Kirkby to get to the surgery. Then they have to get back again.

"I was also told that taxis would be laid on for patients to get from Melling to Tower Hill. But patients have told me that they have been refused taxis and have been told that they are only being laid on for disabled patients. That is something we need to get to the bottom of.

"As the long term residents of Melling have told me, the village has always had a full time GP surgery, even in the days when this community was a lot smaller and there was just a few hundred residents. But now Melling is a lot bigger, they face having just a part-time surgery.

"I look forward to raising these issues and the many others with Dr Maassarani when I, together with representatives of the patient campaign group meet with him in the coming weeks.

“Meanwhile, I shall be asking the Secretary of State for Health about Melling Surgery at question time on Tuesday.”


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