Residents to protest against talks of doctors surgery relocation by marching 4 miles

Members of the Burnham Save Our Surgery Group have organised a public march to highlight the “absolute inaccessibility” of public health services a relocation would mean.

The Burnham NHS surgery which serves more than 9,000 patients could be relocated to the new Burnham Waters retirement village outside Burnham.

Concerns have been raised by residents following rumours of the move to the location which is two miles away and currently has no public transportation links.

Nearly 450 residents shared their concerns at a public meeting held by representatives in August. 

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Outside: hundreds of residents stood outside to hear the meetingOutside: hundreds of residents stood outside to hear the meeting (Image: Nick Skeens)

In a move to highlight “how impossible” the new surgery would be for many people to access, residents will be marching from the current GP practice in Foundry Lane to the proposed site on Saturday, November 4, at 12pm.

Rachel Eborall, spokesman for Burnham Save Our Surgery, said: “By marching we aim to draw urgent attention to the absolute inaccessibility of the retirement village for anyone without their own transport and highlight obstacles, including street furniture, lack of direct or safe pavements and hazardous road crossings patients will be faced with if they wish to walk, use mobility scooters or push prams.

“Essex County Council has said that the journey – around a four-mile round trip – is well beyond the normal walking thresholds of most able-bodied people.

“We feel strongly that the move will create terrible health inequalities for those least able to get to the surgery, cutting off many patients from access to health services and ultimately costing lives as people give up on trying to get to see a GP.

“We are calling on NHS decision makers at the Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board to once and for all agree that the relocation will not be approved.”

She added: “The proposal puts the location of our public health services at the mercy of private interests and won’t solve local health pressures.

“The process has been underhand and the move must not be allowed to happen.”

The integrated care board has previously said no decision has been made to relocate the surgery.