'No-one will be left without GP after Shrewsbury practice closes' – health bosses
Health bosses have offered further assurances that no-one will be left without a GP when Shrewsbury's Whitehall Medical Practice closes at the end of the month.
It comes after a petition bearing more than 1,000 signatures against the closure was presented at a full meeting of Shropshire Council on Thursday.
The GP practice, which served more than 3,700 registered patients, is due to close after Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) could not find a new provider to take over.
It has led to a backlash from campaigners and the threat of a legal challenge against the decision.
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- ‘We will fight for GP surgery’ say Shrewsbury campaigners ahead of meetings
- Demonstration organised over Shrewsbury GP surgery closure
Bosses at Shropshire CCG say more than 2,000 patients have transferred to a new practice close to their home address.
All remaining patients are expected to receive letters shortly advising them of their new GP practice and how to register.
Where a patient has been allocated a practice, they will still have to register but can be assured that the new practice identified will accept them.
Heath commissioners say it means patients can be reassured that no-one will be left without access to a GP service.
Dr Julian Povey, chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “Patients can be assured that there is capacity in practices across Shrewsbury to enable them to register at a new practice.
“The CCG has been in weekly contact with all Shrewsbury practices that had been identified as potentially receiving large numbers of new patient registrations to ensure that they are provided with the support they need.
“Help is also offered through the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) for anyone who is having difficulty registering at a new practice."
If a patient has been allocated a GP practice, they are still able to register at an alternative practice if they choose to do so.
The CCG says patients were first contacted regarding Malling Health's contract ending in November 2018 and were asked for feedback via a patient survey.
Letters have also been sent out earlier this year.
At the Shropshire Council meeting on Thursday some councillors described the way patients had been treated at Whitehall Medical Practice as "deplorable" and "abominable".
Dennis Cheese, who has spearheaded the campaign to save the practice from closure, told the meeting that patients found out about the closure at the end of June and other GP practices cannot cope with the extra influx of people.
Shropshire CCG is urging anyone with queries to call 0800 032 0897 or email SHRCCG.CustomerCare@nhs.net