SURGERY AXED: Patients must find new GPs

CLOSING: The GP practice at King Street Health Centre will not continue past March 31.
CLOSING: The GP practice at King Street Health Centre will not continue past March 31.

A city centre GP practice will close at the end of next month and 3,500 patients will have to find a new doctors’ surgery.

Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) yesterdayconfirmed that the GP service at King Street Health Centre will not continue past March 31.

Its registered patients will have to move to other surgeries instead.

More than 2,000 people signed a petition to save the practice, after the CCG revealed in October that it was reviewing the future of the surgery, which had a shortage of doctors and problems covering GP shifts.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, who took the fight to keep the centre open to the House of Commons, said: “It’s disappointing that despite a hard-fought local campaign, and a 2,000 strong petition to parliament, Wakefield CCG are closing the GP surgery.”

In correspondence with Ms Creagh, seen by The Express, the CCG confirmed the decision had been made at a Probity Committee meeting on Tuesday, January 31.

It said: “The committee agreed to support Option C: dispersal of patients registered with the King Street practice to neighbouring practices by March 31 2017, subject to an appropriate dispersal plan being developed by February 9.”

The Express understands a meeting was held yesterday to discuss the way forward for King Street’s current patients.

But as the Express went to print, the CCG had not yet provided any further information.

It said follow up letters would be sent out to all patients.

A walk-in centre in the same building on King Street, where people have been able to see medics without an appointment since 2009, is also under threat and could close in September.

Its future is being considered as part of a separate review of urgent and emergency care, including A&E services.

In a statement given to The Express in November, Dr Adam Sheppard, the CCG’s assistant clinical chairman, said: “We’re looking at how we make urgent care services, such as those provided at the walk in centre in Wakefield, available to patients across the district through their own GP surgery – giving patients access in their local communities. 

“Originally we thought it could mean the re-provision of the walk-in centre in April 2016, but we have extended this until September 2017 while we carry out a wider review.”

Ms Creagh said: “The CCG must now guarantee the safe running of the walk-in centre, and ensure that the 38,000 people who used the centre last year are not forced into Pinderfields’ overstretched A&E. I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to make sure the CCG do not close the walk-in centre too.”