Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson: Health Secretary must help people of Hightown

Bill Esterson


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson asked the Health Secretary to help the people of Hightown at health questions this week. 

Patients at the Hightown surgery approached the MP and asked for his help as they have found it increasingly difficult to obtain an appointment. 

Many have left the surgery and questions are now being raised about the safety of the service for those mainly elderly people unable to go to a doctor either in Formby or in Crosby.

The Labour MP asked the minister to look into how the surgery is being run by SSP Healthcare who took over the running of the surgery last year. 

Bill said: "SSP Healthcare took over the GP surgery in Hightown. They promised full time doctors but have only provided locum doctors. Many elderly and disabled people in Hightown cannot get an appointment, while those who can have moved to another surgery in Formby or in Crosby. Will the Secretary of State please find out answers about what is happening at the surgery?”

Bill Esterson added later: "Many, many patients in Hightown have now written to me. I have met the parish council and would pay tribute to their work already alongside our excellent pharmacist, Ellis Hall-Lyon and his wife Fleur for their efforts to protect the quality of the GP service in Hightown. 

"SSP promised full time doctors. The surgery is being run by locums. They promised a full time surgery, yet according to patients, it is far from clear when the surgery is open. 

"They promised a better service, yet many elderly and disabled patients cannot get an appointment when they need. 

"Many patients have left to go to Formby, some to Crosby surgeries. 

"The service is a shambles and the people of Hightown are suffering. 

"I am really worried for the future of the doctors’ surgery in Hightown, which is why I asked the minister for help. I have already written to NHS England but have yet to receive a reply. 

"SSP runs a number of GP surgeries in my constituency and I fear that what we are seeing in Hightown is an example of a rapid decline in the service at some GP surgeries. 

"My Labour colleague, Andy Burnham has already pledged that Labour will guarantee an appointment within 48 hours with your doctor if we win the election next year. In Hightown, and elsewhere, that seems a remote possibility right now. 

"But I am determined to sort out the problems with SSP in Hightown and across the constituency and to make sure that you have access to your doctor when you need.”



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