Plans to close Sheffield doctor's surgery to face scrutiny

Councillors will scrutinise plans to shut a general practice surgery in the heart of a Sheffield community, as doctors look to merge it with another.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 4:00 pm

GPs at Norfolk Park Health Centre proposed closing their practice and merging services with Dovercourt Surgery.

Sheffield Council’s healthier communities and adult social care scrutiny and policy development committee will examine the risks and benefits of the plan this week.

In a report ahead of the meeting, Abigail Tebbs, deputy director of delivery at NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, said the Norfolk Park surgery currently has 5,057 registered patients and Dovercourt, 8,791 registered patients.

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Councillors with campaigners outside June full council in support of the campaign to save Norfolk Park Medical Practice
Councillors with campaigners outside June full council in support of the campaign to save Norfolk Park Medical Practice

If the merger went ahead all employed clinical, management and administrative staff would transfer to the new employer, all patients from Norfolk Park would be registered at the new merged practice and all services would be provided from the Dovercourt and Manor Top sites – however the longer-term future of the Manor Top surgery is subject to review.

Ms Tebbs said: “The practices consider that this merger and associated premises changes would provide resilience for the staff and patients of Norfolk Park and Dovercourt Surgery.

“It would deliver benefits to both registered populations, provide stability, future viability and minimise any future impacts on surrounding practices, the network and the locality and offer employment security for all staff.

“The merger would also provide other efficiencies for example, through economies of scale.

“No clinical services will be lost to patients as a result of the proposed merger and patients are likely to benefit from extended opening times (early morning/evening).”

But hundreds of campaigners say it will be a disaster.

Councillor Ben Miskell, who started a petition to stop it, said: “Many residents will struggle to access GP services if they are removed from Norfolk Park.

“We call upon decision makers to withdraw the current proposals and ensure that GP services continues to be provided within Norfolk Park.”

Ms Tebbs said there would be some mitigation if it went ahead, including keeping the Manor Top site open so some patients have less distance to travel, all staff transferring to ensure continuity for patients and plans to create more capacity for the merged practice.

The committee meeting will take place on Wednesday, July 14 from 4pm.

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