NHS England block closure of Sheffield surgery

Beighton medical centre health centre GP surgery
Beighton medical centre health centre GP surgery
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An under-threat Sheffield surgery may come under new management after national NHS bosses said it should not close.

Practice managers in charge of the Beighton Health Centre had consulted on plans to close the site in order to retain service levels at its sister surgery in nearby Sothall.

They said proposed funding cuts for the next four years would cut almost a quarter of their income and make it impossible to keep the same level of service at both sites.

More than 600 patients took part in a consultation organised by the Sothall and Beighton Medical Practice last year, with 64 per cent in favour of closing Beighton Health Centre on Queens Road to allow for longer opening hours at Sothall Medical Centre on Eckington Road.

But that idea has been rejected for now by NHS England, with a new consultation due to start on whether a different provider should be found to run things in Beighton.

The twin surgeries have around 10,000 patients.

Practice manager Jackie Ashton said: “NHS England have recently confirmed that they would not support Sothall & Beighton Medical Practice in moving to one site working.

“They will therefore consult local patients as to whether they would prefer to stay at the Beighton Health Centre with a different provider of GP services. If enough wish to do so they would look for a new provider.”

She added: “The practice still feels that with the substantial funding reductions due to start this year, we will not be able to maintain our current level of services, but that the impact on patients of these reductions will be significantly less if we work more efficiently from one site.

“The surgeries are less than one mile apart and on a bus route.

“The situation is compounded by significant problems, locally and nationally, in recruiting GPs, practice nurses and nurse practitioners. We feel we will not be able to maintain quality of services on two sites as well as training GP Registrars, Foundation Doctors and Medical Students - ‘tomorrow’s doctors’.”

“We emphasise that we are not removing any of our patients who currently choose to attend our Beighton Surgery, but would intend to offer all our services at Sothall Medical Centre. Final decisions have not yet been made.”

A spokesperson for NHS England said: “NHS England received a request from Sothall and Beighton Medical Centre to close its surgery at Beighton Medical Centre and locate to a single site in Sothall. We asked their patients and the public for their views on this proposal.

“A significant number of responses objected to the plan so we listened to these views and have refused the practice’s request to close the surgery. Instead, we will be working to commission another GP provider to ensure that high quality primary care medical services continue to be provided in Beighton.”

In August, the British Medical Association warned more surgeries around Sheffield could face closure as a result of funding reductions. No one from NHS England was available for comment.