Sheffield GP surgery relocation plans could leave patients 'isolated' due to lack of bus service
Elderly and disabled patients of a Sheffield GP surgery could face a 20-minute walk for treatment as part of plans to relocate two practices in the city.
Meadowgreen Health Centre has announced plans to close its surgery on School Lane, Greenhill, and site on Lowedges Road and run the practices within Jordanthorpe Health Centre - more than a mile away.
But residents have vowed to fight the proposals after claiming there was no bus service from the estate to the proposed site and have launched a petition calling for a re-think.
Deborah Fox, 36, of Lupton Road, said: "The commute is the biggest concern. I am asthmatic and if I have an attack I can sometimes struggle to get to the two sites now so I honestly don't know what I'd do if they closed.
"But there are people who are in a far worse situation than me. There are a lot elderly people who live around here and there is only one bus an hour and that doesn't serve Lowedges so these plans are literally isolating people."
Partners at the health centre said the moves were necessary as the current premises were 'becoming unfit for the purpose of providing modern day GP services'.
But Deborah added: "The Old School site is on two floors so they are saying that it's not fit for the disabled and I can understand that but the Lowedges one isn't in a particularly run down, I've seen worse.
"I've been speaking to people on the street about and a lot are concerned because they simply can't walk a mile to get to the surgery and there's no direct bus service."
A letter to patients, published on the health centre's website said the relocation of both practices was 'the only viable option to provide a safe and effective modern General Practice'.
It added that the Meadowgreen Health Centre would remain separate from Jordanthorpe Health Centre and all patients would be automatically transferred to the new site, which would be operational by March 2019.
A meeting will be held on Thursday, June 28 where patients can discuss the plans. A venue is yet to be confirmed but to submit a question to the centre's partners email [email protected]
Nicki Doherty, Director of Delivery Care Out of Hospital at NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group said, “We strongly encourage all GP practices to fully engage and listen to their patients on any changes to services they provide.
"We are working with Meadowgreen Health Centre to ensure their patients have the opportunity to give their thoughts and views about the proposals so they can fully understand the opportunities and impact before any decisions are made."
In a statement, partners at Meadowgreen Health Centre said: "We would like to reassure our patients that this is not a merger nor are there any planned changes in personnel and none of the doctors are planning on leaving or retiring.
“Our existing premises are insufficient in size and scope to provide our current services and leave no room for the provision of additional services in the future.
“We have explored various options over the last five years including the expansion of the current premises and for a variety of reasons this isn’t possible. After careful consideration the partners feel they have no alternative but to look to relocate."
For more information on the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-clinical-commissioning-group-stop-meadowgreen-health-centre-moving-into-jordanthorpe-health-centre