Shrewsbury health hub plans to be scrutinised amid fears town will lose doctors

Controversial plans for a new health hub are to be scrutinised by councillors next week, amid fears a town may lose doctors.

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wants to relocate six GP surgeries in Shrewsbury and amalgamate them into a hub.

The project will be discussed at a Shropshire Council Health and Adult Social Care scrutiny committee meeting on Monday at 10am in the council chamber at Shirehall.

The CCG insists the plan represents significant investment in GP provision in the town and will help address issues including recruitment and retention of staff. However, several town councillors have raised concerns that their constituents will struggle to access a GP if they have to travel longer distances, and some fear the move may result in fewer doctors being available for people in the town.

Practices being considered for closure are The Beeches Medical Practice, Belvidere Medical Practice, Claremont Bank Surgery, Marden Medical Practice, Marysville Medical Practice and South Hermitage Surgery.

All their services will be transferred to the hub. Bosses have been looking at Meole Brace as a possible location. A document prepared ahead of the meeting by the CCG says: “The CCG selected Shrewsbury as the target area and in particular the southern part of the town for the location of this pilot project.

"There are six GP practices within this geographical area, which are all part of the same Primary Care Network (PCN). Within this small network there are a mixture of properties with varying conditions but in the main the stock is either no longer fit to deliver modern healthcare services and/or there is insufficient space to meet future demand, with no option to extend outwards or upwards.

“Services have changed beyond recognition since the start of the NHS and we need to place a greater emphasis on mental health, preventative care and managing the long-term conditions of an ageing population. More specific to the south of Shrewsbury, we know that parts of the area are deprived – and health determinants point to the need to improve and invest in health and social care facilities.”

Meole’s Lib Dem councillor Bernie Bentick described the plans as “a desire to apply a sticking plaster over the deep, scandalous wounds of a decade of cuts”.

To view the CCG's health hub document visit shropshire.gov.uk/committee-services/documents/s30373/

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