Protest planned over proposed closure of Sheffield medical centre
The proposed closure of a medical centre in a Sheffield suburb has sparked upset, with residents and councillors organising a protest and a petition against it.
In a letter to patients, it was proposed that Norfolk Park Medical Practice would merge with Dovercourt Medical Group, moving all its services to Dovercourt Surgery and the branch site, Manor Top Medical Centre.
The surgery has said that the merger comes as they are now operating as a two doctor practice following a retirement, and have struggled, due to a national shortage of GPs, to replace the one who left.
In a letter to patients the practice’s remaining doctors, Dr Catherine Laycock and Dr Trish Gilroy, said: “We feel it is not sustainable to run the practice as a two partner team in the future as we do not have enough doctors to continue to provide a safe and robust service.
"Any unplanned period of doctor absence would put the practice in a perilous position.
"Therefore, to protect the quality of services and the long term future of the practice for our patients, we feel the only viable option is for Norfolk Park Medical Practice to merge with Dovercourt Group Practice and close the surgery at Norfolk Park Health Centre as it would not be affordable to keep it open.
"We already work very closely with Dovercourt Group Practice as part of a primary care network. This merger gives us, your current GPs, the opportunity to continue to care for our patients whilst giving you the best service we can provide, and guaranteeing continuity of care for you in any eventuality.
"Rest assured you would still be able to maintain your relationship with your current GP.”
A formal consultation about the proposed closure of Norfolk Park Medical Practice and merger with Dovercourt Group Practice will take place over 12 weeks, ending on 4 August 2021.
And in response to the letter, a campaign has been launched to persuade Sheffield CCG to ensure the practice stays open.
A public protest is scheduled for May 26 at 3.30pm, outside the centre, and Park and Arbourthorne councillor Ben Miskell has launched a petition.
Councillor Miskell said: “Closure will be a disaster for residents in Norfolk Park, who rely on this purpose-built doctors surgery that is located in the heart of the community. 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.”
And writing online, local resident Sakeeta Hissett added: “There are so many elderly people around here. We need to keep the surgery where it is.
"There is no direct transport route from here to one of the other places, so that would mean getting a taxi, and I for one cannot afford a taxi every time I go to the surgery. So I doubt the elderly will.
“Why can't some of the doctors from the other surgery do a rotation time table and come to our surgery? Soon we will have nothing left.”