IN relation to the article regarding the Community Hospital public consultation, (Guardian, January 16), I totally disagree with the proposals.

The new system may well be better for the medics, but not for the general public. All major surgery and treatment is already carried out at Macclesfield or specialised units which are suitably equipped and staffed.

Therefore to transfer all treatment for less serious conditions can only cause very great inconvenience and expense to the prospective users and their families.

In spite of what Margaret Thatcher is reputed to have said, big is not necessarily beautiful.

Knutsford Clinic is a shining example for efficiency, and gives an opportunity for both patients and staff to develop a rapport.

This is virtually impossible in massive hospitals, and leads to a feeling of bewilderment in many elderly patients who, in my experience, are often shunted about from place to place never seeing a familiar face.

Any doctor will tell you that such patients are likely to take longer to recover.

For many people, smaller local hospitals are demonstrably conducive to an early return to health and strength than larger ones which are, as in the case of Macclesfield, some 14 miles away.

The patient is the person to be cared for and the proposed changes will, for most patients and their families, cause more expense, less contentment and I believe in many cases a slower response to treatment.

This will have the likely result of bringing further disenchantment with the NHS.

When all is weighed up, I believe that, in the long run far less money will be needed to adapt the present hospital and thus preserve an excellent facility for the local population. Remember it is the patient and their families who are the priority. Answers to the copy of East Cheshire NHS Trust’s questionnaire are as follows: 1. No. 2. No. 3. Covered fully in the above paragraphs.

ROBERT H QUIN Mobberley Road, Knutsford