Surgery consultation results published as decision looms
PUBLISHED: 14:01 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:12 21 October 2019
Patients are concerned how they will be affected if a doctor's surgery whose future has been out to consultation closes.
Healthwatch Norfolk has been consulting patients over the future of Vida Healthcare's Fairstead surgery in King's Lynn.
Now it has published its findings in a report to the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, which will decide the surgery's future with NHS England.
It acknowledges people living around the surgery, in Centre Point, are concerned at how the closure will affect them.
It adds: "Whilst there is not currently a formal PPG [patient participation group], there is a considerable body of local residents, including the Friends of Fairstead Surgery, who have expressed a strong interest in ensuring the primary care services continue to be offered at the Fairstead branch surgery site."
Some 547 people completed a survey as part of the consultation process.
Almost 45pc thought Vida had examined the options "poorly".
Concerns expressed included concerns over travelling to other nearby surgeries using public transport in the event of Fairstead closing.
"Insufficient parking provisions at the Gayton Road Surgery, where parking often overflows into a nearby church's car park, was a major concern among respondents - especially regarding how this problem may get worse if the Fairstead Surgery closes," its report says.
"Some respondents feel that travelling on foot is impractical, particularly for those with limited mobility. Concerns were also raised about how travel costs to the other surgeries may impact those on lower incomes." Other concerns included increased waiting times at neighbouring surgeries.
But the report says the centre was described as 'non compliant' by the Care Quality Commission in 2012.
Publishing responses to the consultation carried out by Healthwatch Norfolk, it adds: "Vida Healthcare believes this means that services are not being provided in the most safe or accessible environment.
"Additionally, there are significant space constraints, which hinders overall productivity, efficiency and safety of working conditions for all staff." It wants patients to use Gayton Road, which is 0.9 miles from Fairstead or St Augustine's (1.7 miles). A decision will be taken at the end of November. For the full report click here.