Wrenthorpe Surgery closure date announced

Wrenthorpe's GP Surgery will close on September 14 this year, it has been confirmed.

Friday, 20th July 2018, 4:23 pm
Updated Friday, 20th July 2018, 4:27 pm
The surgery is being merged with Outwood Park Medical Centre.

Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are merging the surgery, which was running on Friday mornings, with Outwood Park Medical Centre.

The move, which was first mooted at the end of last year, has upset patients and residents in Wrenthorpe.

But the CCG says it will improve patient care and make it easier for people to have face-to-face contact with doctors.

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They will also provide disabled-friendly transport to Outwood Park from the village for at least six months, and offer home visits.

In a paper given to Wakefield Council’s health scrutiny committee, the CCG said: “From September 14 the Friday morning surgery at Wrenthorpe Health Centre will cease. Appointments will be offered at Outwood Park Medical Centre instead.

“We are aware that some patients who previously chose to have their appointments at Wrenthorpe Health Centre may find it more difficult to get to Outwood Park.

“To help overcome this, we are setting up a dedicated, free patients transport service. This service will be available on request for frail and vulnerable patients across Outwood and Wrenthorpe area, who would otherwise be unable to get to Outwood Park for their appointment.”

CCG officials were questioned by the scrutiny committee over the decision in June. Back then they were told patients were struggling to get through to the practice on the phone.

Although promises have been made that more staff will soon be available to answer the phone, some say the issue has not improved.

At a committee meeting on Thursday, Councillor Kevin Swift told members of the CCG: “I’ve been talking to people and it still seems to be taking a while for them to get an appointment. Firstly, it takes a couple of days to actually get through on the phone and book an appointment, and then when it’s actually booked it’s a couple of weeks into the future.

“That was probably just a slip up. But it seems that notwithstanding Wrenthorpe, the practice is still struggling to offer Outwood residents care.”

The CCG’s head of primary care, Chris Skelton, said they were “not aware” that issues had continued, but added they would be investigated.

Scrutiny chair Coun Betty Rhodes said: “Increasing capacity (at Outwood Park) is very welcome but the capacity is zilch if nobody answers the phone.

“I know people who can’t get through to their doctor before they go to work and then they’re trying during their break time at work, and then by the afternoon the surgery’s closed and they’ve not got through.

“If you’ve phone lines that are engaged it doesn’t help.”

David Spereall , Local Democracy Reporting Service