All nursing appointments cancelled at town centre GP surgery and moved three miles away
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 August 2017
Patients registered at a Weston-super-Mare town centre GP surgery will have to travel to a medical centre three miles away if they want to see a nurse in future.
Stafford Medical Group, which runs Stafford Place Surgery, based just off the Boulevard, has told patients there will be no nurse appointments at the centre from September 1.
Instead, patients will have to travel to Locking Castle Medical Centre in Highlands Lane – a 10-minute drive, 30-minute bus trip, or one-hour walk away.
An official review of the town’s healthcare has been launched, as the NHS has admitted the town’s GP services ‘are not coping’.
NHS bosses say the changes at Stafford Place are part of a town-wide healthcare strategy.
A joint statement from NHS England and North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissions health services in the district, was issued on the changes at Stafford Place.
It said: “Local practices are under pressure like many parts of the country and we’re working hard to improve access for people and better support surgeries.
“Rather than deciding on the future of Stafford Place in isolation, we want to find a solution as part of the wider primary care strategy being worked on at the moment for the entire area.
“This includes looking at upgrading buildings and technology where necessary, employing a wider range of healthcare professionals in local health centres and planning health services for future housing development in Weston villages and in central Weston.”
There has been uncertainty over the future of Stafford Place Surgery for some time, as bosses at the Stafford Medical Group were considering closing the centre at the end of last year.
NHS England would first have to review the impact this would have on patients, and would choose whether to refuse or approve the application.
One possible solution to ease the strain on doctor surgeries in Weston is for a community hub which could host health services and a children’s centre.
North Somerset Council is working with the CCG on the Weston Central One Public Estate Project which they hope could alleviate ‘long-standing concerns’ about facilities available in the town centre.