Run 2 – Claire is “running the new Bridgwater constituency” in support of local Bridgwater GP Surgeries. Walkers are also welcome!
When: Saturday, December 9th, 10.30am
Where: Somerset Bridge Medical Centre to East Quay Medical Centre
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Claire Sully, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the new Bridgwater parliamentary constituency, believes more must be done to support NHS GP surgeries and primary care, with both local patients and NHS staff left reeling from the effects of 13 years of Tory NHS policy incompetence.
Claire, who is setting out her priorities in the new Bridgwater constituency in a challenge of ‘Running the new Constituency’, will highlight the impact of underfunded NHS services in the area, with her next run to begin at Somerset Bridge Medical Centre in Bridgwater and end at East Quay Medical Centre.
In England, almost 200 GP surgeries closed between 2018 and 2022, affecting 650,000 patients. The surgeries at greatest risk of closure are smaller medical practices on lower funding in the most deprived areas. After consulting with staff at local medical centres she believes some could be at risk of closure.
Several GP medical practices in the constituency are facing unprecedented pressures. These include East Quay Medical Centre in Bridgwater, as well as medical practices in North Petherton, Burnham and East Brent, while the Victoria Park GP surgery in Bridgwater closed permanently in August 2021 due to ‘clinical staff shortages’. Local medical services are under extreme pressures due to the Conservative government’s failure to adequately resource these vital facilities, with local residents in the Bridgwater constituency could be at risk of losing their GP surgery.
At the core of our broken NHS system is its undervalued workforce, which continues to be further stretched due to Conservative government cuts, resulting in the number of fully trained, full-time equivalent GPs in England to have reduced by more than 2,000 since 2015.
Claire will embark on 2.5km run (or optional 5K return loop) departing from Somerset Bridge Medical Centre, at 10.30am on Saturday, December 9th, in support and recognition of the vital services that GP surgeries provide right across the new Bridgwater constituency.
“The Conservatives have pushed primary care services and GP surgeries to the brink,” said Claire.
“These services are of vital importance not only to those who rely on accessing them, but also to those hardworking people that work there, who have been grossly neglected resulting in a severe worsening of pay and conditions.
“We need to value our NHS staff, improve working conditions and, in turn, make for the very best possible services we can provide to local residents.
“I hope many will join me on the run and show their support for our brilliant NHS workers.”
Emotional ‘Run for Bethany’ well supported
Claire’s ‘Running the Constituency’ challenge began on Saturday, December 2, with a run organised in memory of Bethany Branson, who, aged 19, tragically died in a road collision in November last year.
Starting at Haygrove School in Bridgwater, Claire and Bethany’s parents Ben and Amy, were joined by the local community, friends and family, completed the 5km route. Their aim was to raise awareness of road safety and drink driving in the hope no further families need endure the harrowing loss experienced by Amy and Ben.
Those wishing to keep up-to-date with Claire’s running challenge, as she raises awareness of issues that affect local people in the new Bridgwater constituency, can do so by following her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ClaireSullyPC/) or through her website (https://clairesully.com/).