More than 100 protesters gathered outside a Sheffield GP surgery to make their voices heard over proposals to shut the practice next month.
Patients, staff and trade union officials were joined by MP Clive Betts and councillor Isobel Bowler outside Westfield Health Centre, in Westfield, which is facing closure when its sole GP, Dr Gurcharan Singh Chadha, retires on December 31.
NHS England told the doctor they were unable to replace him or offer his contract to another practice, and that the ‘only realistic option’ was to shut the surgery.
Joan Keane, regional officer for the GMB union, said: “Patients have not been told where they will be treated in the future, nor have they been considered in what is an unacceptable decision with no measures in place to protect the 2,000 patients, many of whom are elderly, young and vulnerable.
“There was no public consultation before NHS managers said closure was the only realistic option.
“This way this issue has been handled shows the weight this government places on health care provision for ordinary members of the public.”
The protest was organised by members of the Westfield and Halfway Tenants’ and Residents Association.
Last week NHS England’s director for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, Eleni de Gilbert, suggested there had been a rethink by saying that ‘no final decision has been taken around the final outcome’.
“This would not happen until consultation was complete,” Ms de Gilbert added in a letter to Mr Betts, MP for Sheffield South East.
“The practice has seen a steady decline in patient numbers over the last seven years.”