Protesters 'angry and bewildered' over proposed closure of Sheffield GP surgery
Residents in Norfolk Park, who say they are ‘angry’ and ‘bewildered’ at plans to close Norfolk Park Medical Practice, came together in a noisy protest to make their voices heard yesterday (May 26).
A notice was sent out to residents in the area from Norfolk Park Medical Practice saying that it was proposing a merger with Dovercourt Medical Group, moving all its services to Dovercourt Surgery and the branch site, Manor Top Medical Centre.
The GPs at Norfolk Park Medical Practice said that the reason for the proposed closure 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.
Sheffield CCG opened up the proposal to public consultation, and the plans have sparked anger among local people, who are worried they will not be able to travel to the proposed new premises.
Speaking at the protest, Kim McMaster from Norfolk Park Tenants and Residents Association (TARA) who jointly organised the protest said: “The surgery is a lifeline for residents in Norfolk Park.
"People are angry that this proposal is even being considered. The building is only eight years old and it was purpose built to be a doctors surgery in our community.”
And Councillor Jack Scott said: “People in Norfolk Park need a doctor’s surgery. I’m calling on Sheffield CCG to think again and do all that it can to ensure that a medical centre can continue to operate in Norfolk Park.
"The proposals to close it will have a devastating effect on our community and just don’t add up.”
A petition was also launched by Councillor Ben Miskell, calling for the CCG to keep the practice open.
More than 350 people have now signed the petition, at the time of writing.
In a letter to patients, Norfolk Park Medical 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.”