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Last Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
Village surgery closure worries
County councillor Tecwyn Jones says Llansantffraid is a growing village
Concerns are growing over plans to close a village doctor's surgery in Powys.

GPs in Llanfyllin propose shutting one of their three branch medical centres in Llansantffraid, near Welshpool, where 2,250 patients are registered.

To compensate, they plan to expand a surgery in the nearby village of Four Crosses, but objectors claim elderly people will be disadvantaged.

Doctors said they planned to close the surgery over the next 12 - 18 months.

A public meeting was being held over the issue in the village hall on Friday night.

"There are plans to expand Four Crosses surgery about three miles away, but elderly people without transport will struggle, and public transport links are not that good in the area either," said local county councillor Tecwyn Jones.

'Negative factor'

"What's more, Llansantffraid is a growing village. The population has grown quite a bit in the last 25 years and there are about 60 new dwellings going up at the moment."

Senior partner Dr Peter Jones said: "The logistics and costs of operating from four sites are becoming increasingly difficult, not only in respect of GP presence but also in terms of staffing.

"Another negative factor is that funding anticipated to support the continued operation of branch surgeries has not been forthcoming.

"We currently have to close each of the surgeries for part of the week, but with the proposed changes we aim to be able to increase the total number of appointment slots available to patients".

Dr Jones said there was a growing demand for services in Four Crosses, about three miles away, and an expansion there would benefit people in Llansantffraid.

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