NHS transport service to Outwood doctors surgery not well used

Outwood Park Medical Centre merged with Wrenthorpe Surgery in September
Outwood Park Medical Centre merged with Wrenthorpe Surgery in September

Free transport to help patients get to their new doctors' surgery after their old one closed is not being well used.

The NHS agreed to drive elderly and frail people to Outwood Park Medical Centre from Wrenthorpe, after the village surgery shut in September.

But take-up of the service so far has been described as "low" by Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Campaigners fought in vain to save Wrenthorpe Surgery, where only 15 appointments a week were taking place before it merged with the Outwood site.

The transport service is being put on for an initial six months, but whether or not it continues beyond that will be subject to a review.

Speaking at a probity commitee meeting, Chris Skelton from the CCG said: "Take-up of the patient transport service to Outwood has been low.

"Only a small number of people are using the service.

"We're working with the practice to identify some of the barriers that might be stopping people from accessing it.

"We need to make sure that those who have a right to the service can use it."

Mr Skelton said that extra staff had been recruited at Outwood Park to help cope with the extra Wrenthorpe patients, and there were now more people to answer phones on the front desk.

Both issues had been identified as concerns in the run-up to Wrenthorpe Surgery's closure.

The CCG also said that feedback from patients about the GP practice since the change had been "very positive" with no complaints registered.

The former Wrenthorpe Surgery building remains empty and unused.