Campaigners claim victory as Sheffield’s Norfolk Park Medical Centre is saved from closure
Campaigners are “delighted” after Sheffield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group said it would not close Norfolk Park Health Centre at a scrutiny meeting last night.
Hundreds of people - including councillors and Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley - campaigned to save the surgery after doctors proposed a merger with Dovercourt Surgery, saying it would be a “disaster” for the community who would struggle to access services.
But during a healthier communities and adult social care scrutiny committee, Abigail Tebbs, deputy director of delivery at Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, said they were now “removing the closure option entirely” and would keep Norfolk Park’s surgery open as a sister site of Dovercourt.
She said: “The consultation will be paused and we will be re-engaging with patients and the public with the revised proposal which is a merger but to retain GP services at Norfolk Park under the current arrangements.”
The aim of the initial plan to merge Norfolk Park, which has more than 5,000 registered patients, with Dovercourt, which has nearly 9,000 registered patients, and close the Norfolk Park site was to provide resilience and stability for staff and patients amid a national GP shortage and cuts to the sector.
It is believed this new plan will still give GPs a better feeling of security as they will be part of a bigger team and that staff will remain in post.
Councillor Ben Miskell, who has campaigned on the issue and spoke at the meeting last night, said: “This is a resounding victory for residents who have been determined to keep the surgery open since they heard of closure plans. It shows that by working together we can defend our local services.”
Kim McMaster of Norfolk Park Tenants and Residents Association, added: “We are delighted that the GP surgery is going to be staying open. People just couldn’t understand why anyone would contemplate closing down an eight-year-old state of the art doctors surgery, in a community like ours that experiences such acute health inequalities.”
The long-term future of the nearby Manor Top surgery is still subject to further review.