83-year old Avril Mulcahy was shocked when she allegedly received a letter from West Road Surgery -- where she has been a patient for 30 years-- telling her she has 28 days to find a new doctor because of her "carbon footprint" and "green traveling issues," The Daily Mail reports.
The letter reportedly read:
Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience but also taking into consideration green traveling issues re carbon footprints [sic] and winter weather conditions, we feel it would be advisable for patients to register at clinics nearer to where they live.
We would therefore be very grateful if you could make the necessary arrangements to re-register at another practice.
We have informed Essex Contractor Services and after a period of 28 days you will be removed from our list. Bear this in mind, as you will need to have found a doctor within that time.
We would like to take this opportunity to send you our best wishes for the future.
As if that wasn't bad enough, Avril Mulcahy lives one mile from her clinic.
The elderly woman says the entire situation has left a "sour taste" in her mouth.
"When I read through the letter, I found it absolutely ridiculous they were saying the reason was to decrease their carbon footprint. I have been a patient at the practice for 30 years now, and there has never been any problem before."
Mulcahy recently made a complaint about her doctor and suspects that it may have something to do with her abrupt dismissal.
"To be treated like this, just because I live too far away or for what I feel is a reaction to my complaint, is disgraceful. It feels like they are just coming up with an excuse to get rid of me."
She continued: "If they really cared, they could have found me a new practice instead of just basically saying do it yourself. It is a great worry to me as I am elderly and need to get repeat prescriptions for medication...This is really a stress I could do without."
The head of risk and customer service for South Essex's National Health Service (NHS) responded: "We would advise all patients who have concerns about any aspect of local NHS care to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 5879159 for help and advice."