LETTER: Medical centre is a done deal

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Like so many of my generation, I’m glad that I entered this world in the 1930s. Reading through Dr Simon Dean’s latest article (WSCT August 28th), it is therefore some comfort to read that he and his colleagues are planning three decades ahead.

So, apart from a miraculous advance in medical science, I shall not be around to have to endure the ‘Brave New Horsham’ - mapped out for us by a compliant Tory local authority.

Once an attractive rural market town - soon to be joined at the hip of our neighbour - that characterless post-war urban sprawl - called Crawley.

As I hope I made clear in my previous letter on the subject, having been a patient of Dr Dean at the Park Surgery since his arrival in Horsham, I have nothing but praise for him as a highly professional and caring general practitioner.

Few medicos could match him in our computerised NHS - which allows for just a ten-minute diagnosis - with the prospect of something akin to the notorious ‘Liverpool Pathway’ - for those of riper years suffering from costly nursing conditions.

Having read through Dr Dean’s latest piece with more than a cursory eye - and more importantly between the lines - in spite of all his reassuring words about continuing public consultation, it seems likely to me that the proposed new Medical Centre at Broadbridge Heath is already a done deal.

Nothing new about that - and I shall be delighted to be proven wrong - and buy him a pint of our super local Horsham ale!

But surely the critical point in his piece is Dr Dean’s revealing statement - ‘It takes many years to train a GP and to recruit them into an expensive area such as ours is difficult’. He adds, ’Currently in North London 40 per cent of training posts are unfilled’. As a graduate of The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead - he should know.

But more importantly he infers that newly qualified GPs and specialist nurses are underpaid for an area such as West Sussex.

And here am I naively continuing to regard medicine as a noble vocation - when clearly it’s all about money in what is now a market-driven profession - the majority of training costs being met by us - the taxpayers.

Come back, Nye Bevan - all is forgiven!

ROBERT B. WORLEY

Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham