GP surgery consultation extended for the second time

A consultation on the proposed closure of an under-threat GP surgery has been extended for the second time.

Controversial plans which would see Tettenhall Medical Practice permanently shut its Wood Road branch have been under scrutiny since May. Patients are now being given even more time to voice their concerns, with two meetings in the pipeline to discuss the plans.

Wolverhampton South West MP Eleanor Smith said: “I urge everyone affected to detail their concerns and objections on the consultation, and to attend both meetings. We need to keep making our voices heard. This is not a done deal.”

A 90-day consultation on the proposals was due to come to an end last month but was extended until August 30 – and has now been extended again until September 15. It comes after the medical practice announced it was considering merging all services at its second site in Lower Street.

City MP Ms Smith has since raised concerns elderly and vulnerable patients could suffer if forced to travel further to receive health care. Last week, she met with patient Graham Childs who is concerned about his journey from his Longlake Avenue home to the Lower Green surgery.

Ms Smith said: “The journey to Lower Green would be an ordeal for Graham. We need to keep Wood Road surgery open. A local GP should be local and accessible to everyone. The information the decision makers at Wolverhampton CCG are working on over-relies inaccurately on the availability of a door-to-door bus service from Wood Road to Lower Green, and the fact that Lower Green has a ‘private car park’. It doesn’t. The private car park at Lower Green is not private. It is used by all sorts of people without enforcement – local residents, people visiting the shops, people using the screening services and adjacent health centre. It is very often full.”

Patients have also raised concerns they would have difficulties walking further to the site – with just one direct bus service running every hour and taxis costing at least £6.

The MP added: “The bus they would expect Graham to take runs only until 2.30pm and doesn’t start till 9.30am and is not regular. It will not help people get to afternoon, evening or early appointments. It is a long circular bus route with is likely to lead to people missing or being late for appointments. Or Graham would have to take the number 1 bus, which would involve more walking on some narrow pavements, and busy steep roads.”

Patients are now being invited to raise issues with the CCG at drop-in session set to take place at Tettenhall Road’s Linden House from 6pm to 8pm on September 11. Wolverhampton Council’s health scrutiny panel will also discuss the closure at the same place from 1.30pm the following day.

 

Article originally appeared on  Express & Star

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