Access is vital


- Credit: Archant

Regarding the new health centre at Stowford Lodge, featured in the Sidmouth Herald this week, in which inaccessibility was not mentioned.

I accept the need for a more up-to-date centre, but surely the first consideration, even before seeking planning permission, should be its accessibility to the majority of patients to be served from Sidford and Sidbury, who are currently registered at the Sidford practice.

The present proposal does not fulfil this requirement.

There is no direct bus service, so how are patients who are either very sick, 80-90 years of age, pregnant mothers unable to drive, to mention a few, going to overcome this problem?

The long steep walk to Stowford is impossible, particularly in winter when darkness falls early and sections of the A3052 do not have a pavement.

It is impractical to suggest that Sidford/Sidbury patients should register at the town practice because of the weight of numbers.

Neither is suggesting the use of a taxi, for financial reasons.

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Before going any further, we must have a straightforward answer to this question which will suit the majority of patients affected by the proposed closure of the Sidford practice.

Perhaps the free hopper bus run for the benefit of holidaymakers could be switched for the free use of patients?

Marjorie How

Sid Vale Close