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Sheffield health centre faces closure threat

Laura Beal, left, and patients who are opposing proposals to close down Beighton Medical centre.

Laura Beal, left, and patients who are opposing proposals to close down Beighton Medical centre.

A medical practice that serves more than 10,000 Sheffield patients is considering shutting one of its health centres due to funding cuts.

Sothall and Beighton Medical Practice has said 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 sites.

It has now launched a three-month patient consultation which is suggesting the potential closure of Beighton Health Centre on Queens Road so service levels can 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. The letter sent out to patients said Government funding is being redistributed to poorer areas of the country, hitting the cash available to support many practices in Sheffield.

Earlier this year, the British Medical Association 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 the practice’s consultation letter said: “These new cuts are too severe for us to carry on as we are, so we need to make some difficult decisions about how we provide the best service for our community.”

The letter said using a single site would mean the possibility of extended opening hours and greater continuity of care. It said the distance between the two practices is less than a mile.

But it added the practice recognises patients in Beighton may have ‘some concerns’ about the proposal to shut their site.

 

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