More than £1million in NHS funding given to struggling Weston GP surgery
PUBLISHED: 06:55 22 July 2019
An additional £1.4million of NHS funding has been granted to help two Weston surgeries which are in a 'mess'.
Graham Road Surgery will receive a chunk of emergency capital funding after being successful in its NHS application.
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG bosses confirmed they are looking for a Weston town centre site to relocate Clarence Park's operations to.
Clarence Park Surgery is now run through new provider, Pier Health Group Limited, as is nearby Graham Road Surgery, where Clarence Park's services are running from 'temporarily'.
There is less than a mile between the two practices which serves just under 5,000 patients, a high proportion of which are elderly people.
The move comes after the landlord of the Clarence Park premises indicated it will be withdrawing its lease.
Speaking at a surgeries' patients' participation group (PPG) meeting, Colin Bradbury, area director of North Somerset, wants to 'reduce footfall' at Graham Road.
He said: "Ultimately we want to get fewer people travelling to the practices by encouraging patients to use telephone and digital means to reduce footfall.
Dr John Heather from the Pier Health Group labelled the situation a 'mess' as no doctor is available at Clarence Park.
Dr Heather said: "The Clarence Park patient list is being dealt with from Graham Road Surgery which has meant some patients are not being seen, it is a mess but we have to work harder."
Affected patients have been offered the opportunity to transfer to Graham Road.
Former provider, Locality Health Centre CIC, handed back its contracts and concerns over whether Graham Road can cope with an influx of new patients has been raised in recent months.
The CCG's digital system, AskMyGP, is hoping to be set up in Graham Road soon but health bosses did not reveal how the money will be spent.
Richard Nightingale, deputy chairman of the surgeries' PPG said: "This funding application is further recognition of the dire healthcare needs in Weston.
"This brings the whole amount which could potentially be allocated to health care services in Central ward to £4.6million.
"I am so pleased that after years of campaigning, decision makers are at last recognising the size of the issue."