Letters: Kempston GPs and councillors are crying out for a much-needed health hub

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Cllr James Valentine
Cllr James Valentine

Dear Editor

“Building new surgeries won’t solve the problem of lack of GPs” says Dr Makarem (Bedford Independent, 27 July), and apparently “there isn’t a queue of GPs waiting to be given premises.” 

Read: Building new surgeries won’t solve problem of lack of GPs says local NHS chair

For Kempston Borough Councillors, that’s an extremely surprising statement.

The demand for new facilities has come from Kempston GPs themselves, who have to work from hopelessly outdated and overcrowded premises and who have repeatedly appealed to us for help in convincing the NHS bureaucracy to do something about it. 

Kempston residents need to have easy, local access to a full range of health advice and early treatment including, for example public health and prevention services, rehabilitation, mental health services, podiatry etc – as well as consulting their GPs. 

Yes, primary care is about much more than seeing a GP, and often when you need initial health care you can be helped by a nurse, physiotherapist or other health professional. 

However, engaging with primary health care currently can be a huge problem for Kempston residents.

For example, if you need physiotherapy you have to find your way to North Wing via a complicated bus connection or pay sky-high parking charges. This is not the way forward.

Kempston GPs and Councillors will continue to fight for an urgently needed Kempston Health Hub.

I invite Dr Makarem to come to Kempston to meet us and see exactly what we have to face up to as a community, and how we can together come up with a practical solution.   

Yours sincerely

Cllr James Valentine
Ward councillor, Kempston West

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