Hot on the heels of last weeks announcement of a proposed merger between two doctors surgeries comes another blow to the residents of Saffron Walden. I have been made aware that The Dental Suite, based in Saffron Walden Community Hospital, is scheduled to move to Stansted Mountfichet within the next year.
The highly regarded and well liked Dr Issa Abdul-Ghani is planning on moving his practice to purpose built premises within the new Health Centre currently being built in the centre of Stansted Mountfitchet. This is a move that has apparently been in the pipeline for a while. The news came to light this week as patients are being asked whether they wish to remain on the register once the move has been made. I believe in excess of 70% of patients have so far agreed to move with the practice which leads me to wonder how many Stansted Mountfichet residents will be able to access this new service, in their new Health Centre, if it is dominated by patients from Saffron Walden? As we know the population of Saffron Walden is increasing apace and there is as much, if not more, pressure on NHS dental services in the town as there is on doctors.
We can ill afford to lose Dr Adbul-Ghani so perhaps UDC need to be concentrating a little less on granting planning permission to build additional housing and a little more on providing suitable premises for the services that we need to support our growing Community?