Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury GPs closure: Patients 'struggling to find new practice'

Patients of a Shrewsbury GP surgery due to close later this year are having difficulties trying to register elsewhere, it has been claimed.

Last updated

Whitehall Medical Practice in Monkmoor, which serves more than 3,700 patients, is to close in September after a new provider could not be found.

Shropshire Councillor David Vasmer, who represents Underdale, says he and Whitehall patient Dennis Cheese met officials from Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group on Monday.

Councillor Vasmer, who has demanded an investigation into the decision to close the surgery, has warned that some patients are finding it difficult to register with another GP practice.

He also claims the CCG has admitted that letters informing patients of the impending closure were sent out late, reaching them after it was reported in the media.

Councillor David Vasmer

Councillor Vasmer said: "The CCG assured me that all Whitehall’s patients could be absorbed by the remaining GP Practices in Shrewsbury, but I made clear the difficulties some patients were facing getting accepted by another practice.”

He said that some patients had been told one GP list was closed and another surgery had been restricting the number of new patients that could be accepted in any one day.

See also:

Councillor Vasmer has written to Shropshire Council asking for an emergency meeting of the scrutiny committee to investigate the closure.

He wants officials to be brought before the committee to explain why the Whitehall practice has been closed and what plans there are to ensure that everyone in Shrewsbury now, and in the future, will be able to access GP services.

Whitehall Medical Practice

He said: “The CCG does have plans to cope with the growing population of Shrewsbury, but I am worried that they will take too long and patients could face longer and longer waiting times for appointments.

"This problem needs to be investigated by Shropshire Council’s health and adult care overview and scrutiny committee and I shall be calling for such an investigation at its next meeting on Monday, July 15.”

However, he also claims the Government must take the blame for the impending closure of the Whitehall surgery, and says there have been substantial cuts to the funding of GP practices.

Councillor Vasmer added: “This in addition to strict regulations issued by NHS England meant that when the CCG put the Whitehall Medical Practice out to tender there were no bidders, not even the existing company that will be running the practice until its closure in September."

Nicky Wilde, director of primary care for Shropshire CCG, said: “We shared the patients’ hopes that a provider would come forward to take on the new contract which is why we went through a procurement process, but unfortunately no-one submitted a bid and that included the current provider.

"Under the terms of the current contract we were unable to roll it on, or continue to extend it, and so it was offered as a new contract but no-one came forward so unfortunately with no doctors, clinical staff and practice staff the service could not carry on.


“It is true that we tried to ensure that letters and a press release were co-ordinated, but the letters were sent out by a third party and were later than we anticipated and we would like to apologise for this delay."

She said all practices in Shropshire have open lists and can take patients as long as they are in the practice’s boundary area.

She added: "The CCG has been in discussion with practices in the vicinity of Whitehall, briefing them about taking on new patients, as well as practices across the county as Whitehall’s patients come from across Shropshire.

“We are working with local practices to ensure they receive support to enable them to register patients and patients can transfer any time over the next few months, so there is no rush to move straight away. However if a large number of patients wish to register at a practice, their applications may take a few weeks to process, so they may be informed of a date when their application will be processed by and when they will become a patient of the new practice.

“We are also working with the practice to support vulnerable patients who may need help to find a GP so we can make the process as smooth as possible for them.”

A petition protesting against the decision has been launched by Teri Owens, another patient of the practice, which now has more than 330 signatures. It is available at