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New first aid centre takes a step closer

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Plans to open a first aid centre to help ‘overloaded’ health services in Haverhill is edging closer.

Town councillor Betty McLatchy wants to launch an emergency service where residents can go after doctor’s surgeries have closed at night.

Retired nurse Cllr McLatchy says she is hopeful to have found premises near the town centre where the service can be provided from 7pm to 10pm, seven days a week.

She hopes to find out by the end of the week if she has a location for the service which could be called Base Aid.

Following a story in the Haverhill Echo calling for volunteers to help run the first aid station, Cllr McLatchy said three people had come forward.

She said she had the idea for a first aid service when she damaged a thumb after the wind blew her car door shut.

She needed first aid and advice, but she was unable to drive to hospital because of her injury. A walk-in medical centre, which closed around three years ago, was also unable to help her and she said she felt “vulnerable”.

“I am sure there are a lot of people who feel the same as I did when an emergency happens out of hours and they do not know where to go for the best.

“Our local doctors are grossly overloaded with work, and I am trying to get this service off the ground to help.

She said what was really needed in Haverhill was a cottage hospital because residents are far away from health centres and hospitals, such as West Suffolk Hospital.

She has organised liability insurance and hopes to have enough volunteers to work on a rota system to keep the first aid station open seven days a week.

“I hope to hear later this week if I have managed to secure some premises near the town centre. I feel strongly now is the time to act to show this is needed in Haverhill.”

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