MAY I add my voice to those expressing concern at the proposed move of services from Bridport to Dorchester or, heaven forbid, even further.

Whilst making perfect sense financially to the decision makers, to those patients using the services it adds additional stress and possible pain to their visits. Surely it would be sensible to maximise the use of the smaller hospitals to help to ease the pressures on the larger ones and to deliver a service closer at hand to patients who are becoming ever older and frailer as time goes by.

Obviously very hi-tech and expensive equipment can only be available at the larger hospitals but many conditions do not require their use and could be dealt with locally.

The staff at Dorchester (as at Bridport) are unfailingly kind and efficient in my experience but the journey is much more of a problem and parking can be a nightmare even with a blue badge. Thankfully, we do not have to pay so are spared this additional inconvenience.

Perhaps, also, some appointments for follow-ups after annual checks, for instance, where no immediate action is necessary, could be replaced by a telephone call or letter to the patient with a date for the next check-up if required. This would save consultants’ and patients’ time and the expense of travelling to and from the hospital for possibly a few minute appointment.

A win-win situation perhaps, although someone would still have to make the phone calls or type the letters.

There is also the danger that elderly frail patients with no access to car or public transport may or unable to pay for a taxi may opt to miss the appointment altogether.