Maghull Labour councillors who have been campaigning to save the town’s community dental service say they are confident its long-term future has been secured.
The specialist dental service at Maghull Health Centre was earmarked for closure under a cost cutting review by Liverpool Community Health.
Labour councillors Lynn Gatherer and Patrick McKinley immediately launched a campaign to save the service which is used by hundreds of vulnerable and older people throughout East Sefton.
The two Sudell Ward councillors were joined by their Labour colleagues, Cllr June Burns and Cllr Rob Owens, at a meeting last week in which they put the case to senior health chiefs to save the service.
Speaking afterwards, Cllr McKinley was confident that the service had been secured.
Cllr McKinley said: “Cllr Gatherer and I attended the public consultation meeting at Maghull Town Hall at the start of this year during which we highlighted the fact that the potential growth in population and our ageing population meant that there would be a need for more local medical services rather than less over the coming years.
“This and other issues fed back by service users thankfully led to the commissioners conducting a review of the closure plans.
“Part of this review was to have a meeting with local councillors to discuss the issues. This was held last week. Senior commissioners and health managers from Merseycare attended together with my Labour colleagues.
“We put the case for saving the service and I am confident that we made good progress.”
Cllr Gatherer said: “It was a very productive meeting and proves that the commissioners have and are listening to our concerns all agreed that going forward there would be a need for such a local service.
“The commissioners gave us an assurance that the service will be protected for the remainder of the current contract and going forward the new three year contract tender would include a specification for a Maghull-based community dentistry practice.
“This is good news and essentially sees this vital service safeguarded.”
During the meeting, Cllr McKinley also signed up the health commissioners to join the town council’s Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.
Cllr McKinley said: “The meeting was very positive, but the icing on the cake was when the commissioners, who are responsible for identifying community health needs and ensuring that these needs are met, agreed to join our Maghull Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.
“What it effectively means is that our neighbourhood planning process will enable us to work to improve existing services and going forward contain a clear needs analysis alongside any development plans to ensure that we have enough doctors, dentists and other health professionals to meet any increase in the Maghull population.”
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