GP closure a 'shambles'
PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 September 2013
THE closure of a Weston GP surgery, which will shut its doors today (Mon), has been called a 'shambles.'
The medical practice in the Boulevard was threatened with closure last year and after patients and councillors voiced their concerns plans for the site to be extended were discussed.
The Mercury reported in August that NHS England had attempted to find a new provider of medical care services but no bids were received.
And despite Watchdog Healthwatch being asked to intervene, the surgery will shut up shop today.
The closure of the practice, which helped more than 1,300 patients, has been criticised by Weston councillor Mike Bell, who said: “The whole process has been a shambles. The views of patients have been ignored, the closure has been bounced through with just a few weeks notice and NHS England has broken promises to keep the surgery open.”
These words came after the council’s health panel agreed to urgently review the closure and look at ways to restore services to the Boulevard area, including potentially asking for the Secretary of State for Health to intervene.
Cllr Bell added: “The town centre area is one of the most deprived communities in the South West and many residents face significant health challenges. We need improved services not poorer ones.”
Even though the surgery will close the Mercury reported last month that North Somerset Council’s health trainers, which were based at the practice, will now relocate to the Town Hall.
Patients are being directed to alternative practices after being told about the change, but will also have the opportunity of seeking help from the health trainers’ new base.
Their work will include specialising in healthy lifestyle advice and stop smoking services.