Health bosses accused of shirking over Shrewsbury GP closure
Health bosses have been accused of not working hard enough to find a new company to take on the running of a GP practice in Shrewsbury.
The Whitehall Medical Practice is due to close next month, with 3,700 patients needing to move to a new surgery.
It comes after Malling Health decided not to continue providing services at the practice when its contract runs out on September 30.
But Councillor Kate Halliday said she was “amazed” a new firm had not been found to take on the contract and said she did not think Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group had worked hard enough to keep the practice going.
Speaking at a meeting of Shropshire Council’s health and adult social care overview and scrutiny committee, she said she felt that CCG had done “no work” to keep it open.
She said: “I am picking up a lot of feelings of stress and worry from people who are patients at Whitehall, but I am not feeling any of that from the CCG.
“Have you worked hard enough to get someone to take over the contract? I don’t believe you have.
“This would be a dream surgery to take over, a lovely satellite surgery for another practice to take on.
“Other than putting a tender notification out you have done no work to get it taken on.
“I am amazed that it hasn’t been taken on. In my opinion you didn’t try hard enough.”
Nicky Wilde, director of primary care at the CCG, defended the process and said she “can’t make people bid for a contract”.
She added: “Have we worked hard enough? That’s something the committee has asked and we did go through the procurement process.
“We did carry out engagement. One thing to be made clear though is that even if a contract had been agreed, there would have been a new provider and a new building.
“Whichever way it went there would have been change. A new provider and a new location would have been involved either way.
“I can’t make people bid for a contract.”
The meeting also heard that as of August 23, 1,220 patients had managed to sign up to another practice.
But Ms Wilde said that was within targets set by NHS England and she did not anticipate any problems going forward.
“This is in line with what NHS England would expect and just this last week it has been picking up,” she said.