Diss council to write protest letter over out-of-hours care plans

A town council will write to the East of England Ambulance service and NHS Norfolk and Waveney to protest against plans to move the out-of-hours GP base from Diss to Long Stratton.

Diss town mayor Graham Minshull and a number of his fellow town councillors expressed concerns at a meeting on Wednesday vital services were being taken away from the town and moved elsewhere.

Mr Minshull and deputy mayor Neil Howard feared patients would have to travel to Long Stratton to receive medical treatment because there were no health facilities available in Diss.

And councillor Simon Olander said he could not understand why a town of 7,000 people such as Diss had not got a health centre, when smaller towns and villages such as Eye and Botesdale had got medical facilities.

Mr Minshull also revealed he had spoken to an NHS Norfolk and Waveney representative who told him the idea of the move had been 'dreamed up' by a Cambridge-based NHS representative.

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Mr Minshull said: 'I think they think it is ok to move services away from Diss because they don't object so they just keep pushing and pushing things out of the town.'

On Thursday, he said he had spoken to a health professional who told him one of the town's two ambulances was also set to be scrapped as part of the shake-up.

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The service in south Norfolk is set to be moved to Long Stratton on August 29 because the area is concerned better for the majority of south Norfolk residents.

The move, which will take place from August 29, will affect thousands of residents in Diss and surrounding villages, and comes at a time when the town is rapidly expanding.

The out-of-hours GP service in Diss is located in Roydon Road, and has been open during the evening through to the early hours of the morning for a number of years.

However, East of England Ambulance Service has been awarded the new contract for out-of-hours care, a condition of which was that patients should not have any more than a 30-minute drive to access the service.

Moving the base to Long Stratton was therefore considered to more easily fulfill this criteria.

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