Uncertain future for Doncaster village GP practice

GP services in a Doncaster village are facing an uncertain future after it was announced the current doctor is leaving.

Family doctor Dr Karen Wagstaff, who runs Barnburgh surgery on Fox Lane, Barnburgh, and is the only doctor there, has announced she plans to leave later this year.

It is not yet certain if there will be a replacement service, or where patients would be re-located to.

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Dr Wagstaffe has notified Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group that she plans to end her contract on May 8 this year.

Her surgery has also been also been looking after the GP surgery in Denaby for the last year, although that arrangement had been due to finish this year.

Clinical Commissioning Group chairman Dr David Crichton said: "Dr Wagstaff has provided an excellent family doctor service at Barnburgh over a number of years - and at Denaby during the last 12 months - as well as being a board member of the clinical commissioning group. We will be disappointed to see her leave, but wish her well for the future.

"The CCG is reponsible for ensuring the 2,900 patients have on-going access to a GP, so we have now started exploring options for their future care. We have launched a search - via a national procurement exercise - to try and find a GP to take over the contract for the practice, and this process is expected to take around one month to complete.

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"The situation is complicated by the fact that, in addition to holding the GP contract for Barnburgh Surgery, Dr Wagstaff owns the current premises that the practice operates from, which is likely to be a key factor of discussions with any potential bidders."

Patients are being encouraged to use the practice as normal in the meantime.

The Barnburgh Practice attracts patients from various villages in the west of Doncaster, such as HIckleton, Adwick on Dearne and Harlington. Around a fifth of its patients like outside Doncaster, over the border in Barnsley.

If no replacement is found, the other option would be 'patient dispersal', where patients are offered places at other surgeries.

The nearest alternative practices are thought to be in Mexborough, Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Sprotbrough.