GP surgery to close despite patient backlash

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A village doctor’s surgery is set to close - despite a backlash from patients and fears it would leave elderly people with too far to travel for treatment.

NHS bosses have approved the closure of Wrenthorpe Branch Surgery, which means people in the village will travel to neighbouring Outwood for appointments.

Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) first refused permission for the closure, proposed last October by parent practice Outwood Park Medical Centre, but agreed after being given an assurance that the Outwood surgery had capacity to take the extra patients.

The CCG said it was told that just 15 appointments a week were being carried out at the Wrenthorpe branch, but an expanded service could be offered at Outwood.

A CCG spokeswoman said: “The practice submitted the proposal based on its view that a more comprehensive and safer service could be offered to all its patients, including residents of Wrenthorpe, by centralising and expanding services on one site.”

Outwood Park Medical Centre said it would provide a transport service for frail and vulnerable patients for an initial period of six months.

The practice said having staff based at one site would lead to improved care and faster responses to patient phone calls.

The CCG spokeswoman added: “The practice also confirmed that access for patients with disabilities and additional needs will be easier at the Outwood site.”

A date is yet to be set for the closure. Morley and Outwood Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns, who campaigned against the move, said: “I am hugely disappointed that Wakefield CCG have approved the closure of Wrenthorpe Branch Surgery.

“In September I handed a 140-strong petition from local residents making our views clear that the surgery should not close.

“This closure will put additional pressure on Outwood Park Medical Centre and has the potential to drastically affect the service to all residents.

“This is an ill-thought-out decision and it is my opinion and the view of residents locally that the surgery should remain open.”