Not sneaky, or underhand, but committed to the NHS

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I take exception to the anonymous letter from “A concerned voter, Walsden” about a petition of “a group of Labour supporters” which said that there are rumours that our local walk-in centre was to close, and that signagtures against this were required.

After reading the letter I attended the Patients’ Participation Group’s open meeting in Todmorden Health Centre that evening, and checked whether the small upstairs walk-in centre, which is distinct from Todmorden Group Practice below, was suspected of being at risk locally. No such rumours had been heard, which seems to justify the question of “if the Labour Party employs this kind of underhand sneaky tactic how can it be trusted”.

But - all small practices are now threatened by the Government’s planned withdrawal next April of the “minimum practice income guarantee” (MIPG) which has ensured that smaller practices get a sustainable income!

Tim Farrow MP (Lib Dem, Westmoreland) has protested that some patients in his Lakeland area could have to take a ferry or cross a mountain range to see a doctor if MIPG no longer sustained two practices.

Dr Gerarda, who chairs the Royal College of GPs has said that “single-handed practices, city-based or rural, struggle to survive the bureaucratic demands of the modern NHS.”

I therefore call on your correspondent to make a signed withdrawal of the remarks arising from having leapt without looking enough.

Todmorden Labour Party is neither sneaky nor underhanded, but is passionately committed to the NHS, unlike the Tories who opposed its establishment at both second and third readings in Parliament, and who continue to chip away at it (though not necessarily our MP, though I hope he will press the Prime Minister to divert to good social purposes, including MPIG, the finance he wished to devote to military intervention in Syria!)

Coun Frank McManus,

(Labour, Stoodley ward,

Todmorden Town Council).