Warning as £150,000 appeal launched to keep X-ray facilities in Newport
A doctor has warned that Newport residents may struggle to attend X-ray appointments if the facilities are removed from the town.
Dr Nick Tindall also emphasised the importance of keeping medical facilities as local as possible in order to serve townspeople who are elderly or infirm.
The former doctor at the town's Wellington Road Surgery was speaking after the launch of a community appeal to raise £150,000 to upgrade the town's ageing X-ray machines.
The upgraded equipment will still be based at the Cottage Care Centre off Upper Bar, but will be in line with state of the art digital technology being installed at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
If the equipment is not upgraded, patients will instead have to travel to the nearest unit at Princess Royal Hospital.
Dr Tindall said: "For a long time Newport has had its own x-ray unit which is fairly unusual for a town of its size. It's a great facility for people of the town so I want to see it carry on.
"It's particularly helpful for the infirm, elderly, and carers. People can also plan appointments around their working days and book appointments here locally."
The Cottage Care Centre cares for elderly people and those living with dementia within the community, and about 1,600 people a year use the 15-year-old X-ray machine there, though it is increasingly outdated.
Dr Tindall added: "A lot of people can't drive so it's convenient. To get from Newport to Princess Royal Hospital by public transport is not easy, so for the elderly and the infirm it's an important service."
He has joined a number of medical staff from Newport's three health centres, Wellington Road Surgery, Linden Hall Surgery and the Cottage Care Centre which currently houses the unit, as well as the town's League of Friends and Rotary Lite groups in appealing for funding.
Karen Woodcock, of Newport League of Friends, said: "It has become necessary to upgrade the X-ray unit in line with local district general hospitals, and keep it viable for years to come using modern state of the art digital imaging.
"This will mean bringing a convenient local NHS service to the patients of both the surgeries in town and help them move towards more care closer to home."