'Considerable uncertainty' surrounds Weston surgery's future
PUBLISHED: 07:38 29 October 2018
The future of a Weston-super-Mare doctors' surgery is in doubt with a sale of the building in progress, 'adding further pressure to hard-pressed GP services'.
The Mercury understands Graham Road and Clarence Park surgeries may merge with the latter set to close, adding around 5,000 patients to the 9,000-strong register of a surgery where people ‘already struggle to get appointments’.
Central ward councillor Mike Bell is ‘really concerned’ about the proposal to close the surgery, which is listed on the market for £400,000.
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which oversees who delivers health services in the region, admits the situation has ‘caused considerable uncertainty’, but has played down fears the surgery will close without the public being consulted.
The surgeries are run by Locality Health Centre, and it is understood work is underway to create more consulting rooms at Graham Road to handle the increase in patients, but Cllr Bell believes health bosses should ‘prevent the continued salami-slicing of local services’.
He said: “I already hear from patients at Graham Road that they struggle to get an appointment. It’s hard to see how this situation will improve with even more patients being brought in.
“I am also disappointed so little consultation with patients or local partners seems to have been undertaken by management.
“This move will add further pressure to our hard-pressed GP services. The management must halt this move until they have consulted properly and have a clear plan to deliver for the 14,500 patients affected.”
A CCG spokesman assured the Mercury patients will be consulted on the closure of the surgery, if the sale happens.
They added: “While we understand a sale is being explored, we have assurance from Locality Health Centre no sale will complete while NHS services are contracted from the site. Any changes to the provision of services would require formal consultation and engagement with patients, residents, the CCG and the local authority.
“We would like to reassure patients services will continue at Clarence Park until further notice and should any changes be proposed in the future they will be subject to full consultation, with all views taken into account before any decision is made.”