Hundreds of patients speak out on Sheffield medical practice closure plans

Beighton medical centre health centre GP surgery
Beighton medical centre health centre GP surgery
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More than 600 patients have responded to a consultation on the potential closure of a Sheffield health centre.

Sothall and Beighton Medical Practice revealed this summer that an anticipated loss of almost a quarter of its funding in the next four years means it can no longer afford to maintain the same level of service at its two current surgeries - resulting in it considering the closure of Beighton Health Centre on Queens Road.

Laura Beal, left, and patients opposing proposals to close Beighton Medical Centre

Laura Beal, left, and patients opposing proposals to close Beighton Medical Centre

The idea is being considered so service levels could be maintained at Sothall Medical Centre on Eckington Road, along with longer opening hours.

Patients have been told the other option would be to keep both sites open but with significantly reduced services at each.

A three-month consultation was launched by the medical practice in August to seek the views of its 10,000 patients - with some based in Beighton starting a petition in a bid to save the centre.

The practice’s latest newsletter has revealed hundreds of people have given their views so far - with managers due to agree their final plan for dealing with the cuts in the near future.

It said: “We have been consulting patients over the last three months on our options for future services at Sothall and Beighton Medical Practice. This was in the light of likely substantial changes and reduction of funding for this practice.

“We held a Patient Participation Group Meeting in August, and an open patient meeting in September, each attended by around 50 patients.

“Questionnaires seeking patients’ views have been circulated and we have had over 600 responses. We are in the process of analysing the responses and comments, and will put a report out after the 3 months’ consultation time is complete.

“We are preparing a business plan to submit to NHS England of the options for maintaining our primary care services.

“Meanwhile NHS England, the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and the Local Medical Committee are discussing the funding changes, and the fair distribution of funding and resources.

“We therefore currently do not know if there will be more changes, or what the outcome will be.

“We will inform patients when we have more definite information.”

Earlier this year, the BMA warned changes to GP funding would put almost 100 practices around the country at risk of closure. NHS England said national funding changes are designed to make sure all practices around the country have ‘equal access to funds’. But practice managers have said the cuts ‘are too severe for us to carry on as we are’.