Health bosses invited to attend meeting amid concerns over services

Healthcare bosses are to be invited to attend a parish council meeting in Seahouses.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 11:45 am

Concerns have previously been raised that Seahouses health centre is only open three-and-a-half days a week.

At the November meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council, councillors agreed to invite representatives from Alnwick Medical Group and Belford Medical Practice, which both operate from Seahouses health centre, to a future meeting.

Coun Mick McCarthy raised the issue at the inaugural meeting of a new organisation set up by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust to look at rural healthcare issues.

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“One of the problems is the challenge of GP recruitment in rural areas,” he said.

Coun Sylvia Hillan spoke about the challenge of accessing services when living in a rural area.

“I have to make a 30-mile round trip to Alnwick for a clinic and I’ll only be there five minutes,” she said. “I have a car but if I had to catch a bus when they only run every few hours it’s just not on.”

Meanwhile, councillors have praised new street bunting made by a volunteer group which wanted to help with the visual improvement of the village.

The bunting, in the Northumberland colours of red and yellow, has been funded with donations from local shops and businesses and support from the parish council.

“It looks fantastic,” said chairman Coun Geoffrey Stewart, as the bunting was passed around the room for councillors to inspect. “I’d like to thank the volunteers for their efforts.”

A petition lodged by parents calling for improvements to the Lonnen bridleway from South Lane to Seahouses Primary School and Busy Bees Nursery, is due to be discussed by Northumberland County Council’s Local Area Council at its next meeting on November 21. Coun Stewart plans to attend.

Plans to extend double yellow lines on Chapel Row have been welcomed.

However, councillors have expressed concern at an application to extend a house on King Street. They want the front-facing aspect to have a pitched roof.