By now, most folks in the Lowther villages will know of the proposed changes to surgery provision in our locality. These proposals will certainly be disappointing to many, not least of all, because there has been no apparent consultation with the people who depend on these surgeries; despite there being assurances from Dr Sharkey that consultation would happen.
To raise but a few issues. Patients dependent on long-term medication, diabetics, hypertensives, for example, are to be faced with a narrow window in which to collect regular medication, that happens to fall within common working times; do we have to take time of work every couple of months to collect medication? What happens if our medication runs low or is lost or damaged; is a wait of up to four days to replenish supplies a viable option?
Add to that the extended travel demands, say from Crawford, should a patient have to return to collect medication that may be out of or low in stock; around twenty six miles, in two trips, within a narrow time window that clashes with common working hours.
Do the proposed arrangements meet the service level requirements agreed between Dumfries and Galloway NHS and Lanarkshire NHS? Do the proposed changes meet minimum prescribed service levels?
These and many more are questions we need to press during what appears to be a seriously belated and insincere “consultation”. If you are not familiar with the proposed changes, here are the details along with the date and times of information sessions.
If you are unable to make any of the information sessions, you might want to ask a friend to convey your concerns or you can contact the Practice Manager, Jill Glendinning on 01683 220062.