Health body warns more Sheffield medical practices could close

Beighton medical centre health
Beighton medical centre health
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More GP surgeries around Sheffield could face closure - unless ‘urgent action’ is taken by the Government, the British Medical Association has warned.

The BMA said more practices could soon be in a similar situation to Beighton Health Centre, which is currently under threat of closure.

Sothall and Beighton Medical Practice has launched a patient consultation about closing one of its two sites, serving more than 10,000 patients, because of funding cuts.

It has launched a 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.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, a South Yorkshire GP and a BMA spokesman, said: “The news that Sothall and Beighton Medical Practice is considering shutting one of its health centres due to funding cuts will no doubt come as a blow to local patients who rely on this vital GP service.

“Regrettably, this situation is part of a challenging national picture that politicians have so far failed to take seriously.

“We want to deliver the best possible care for our patients, but increasing demand has not been matched with investment.

“This environment is helping to fuel a GP workforce crisis. Almost 20 per cent of GP trainee posts across the country were left unfilled this year and a recent survey by the BMA found that six in 10 GPs admitted to considering early retirement.

“We need the Government to take urgent action to address these pressures by committing to long term, sustained, investment in GP services like those under threat in Sheffield.

“We cannot and should not allow vital services to disappear from our community.”

Earlier this year the BMA warned that 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 have ‘equal access to funds’.