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 Armstrong & Co Solicitors

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For users of the baby Clinic at Jenner Health Centre
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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
21-04-2010 05:40 PM

If you are a local parent with a baby/toddler and attend the Jenner GP surgery you may be aware that the baby/health visitor clinic is now reduced to one session only on Tuesday afternoons from 12.30pm until 3pm, and is now a community clinic instead of just for the practice patients. Some clinics in other parts of Lewisham have closed and this one is intended to cater for their clients as well as those who are registered with Jenner GP's.This decision was taken by the PCT as a cost saving exercise and due to the difficulty in recruiting health visitors. The clinic has also been moved to a smaller, less accessible and less desirable location on the first floor of the Jenner building, which although is owned by the PCT is separate from the Jenner GP Practice. There is a lift but it isn't very big,and there is not much space in the waiting room for buggies and no longer any play facilities for older siblings as there was downstairs, hence anyone with either a buggy or other children does not have an easy time of it and on occasion it is just impossible to get in at all as its standing room only. As parents do not want to leave their children in buggies in a corridor many just leave before they either get their children weighed or see a health visitor.

The problem is that essentially this clinic is intended to cater for a wider client base but in a reduced time period and in much smaller premises on the first floor. It doesn't make sense to reduce access this way when the government agenda is to reach a wider section of the community and to safeguard the interests of young babies. It is also extremely difficult for parents of multiples to get access to the services as its practically impossible to get a double buggy into the weighing area. As there is only one HV on duty parents have to wait longer to see her which only exacerbates the problem in such a small space.
Given Government and PCT priorities for Early Years provision this is a nonsensical move and a completely unnecessary one, as the Jenner GP Practice have confirmed no objection to its return to the ground floor and its clear that there are no cost implications for that.

However the PCT seem to have their own mysterious agenda on this one and the outcome is a worse service for parents and babies all round. If less people attend due to impracticality then doubtless this will justify further cuts in the service.

If you feel strongly about trying to prevent further erosion of baby services, want to argue for more health visitor time and the return of this clinic to a more sensible location, please PM me and I'll contact you with details of who to write to.

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