Three doctor’s surgeries at risk during NHS review

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THREE doctor’s surgeries are at risk of closure while the NHS reviews the number of GP practices.

The contracts are due for renewal at the walk-in centre at Easington’s Healthworks, Wingate Medical Practice and Jupiter House in Horden next March.

A public consultation is underway, but NHS England say there is no need for patients to re-register at other practices at this stage.

It comes as three GP practices also face the axe in Hartlepool as NHS England is consulting on the closure of the practice at Hartfields and one out of the fens and Wynyard Road surgeries.

Bosses at Healthworks, in Paradise Lane, have stressed that the award-winning community venue will not close and that it is only the walk-in element that is under scrutiny.

County councillor for Easington, Dr David Boyes, said: “The CCG are doing an assessment of all the walk-in centres, a lot of it’s down to footfall.

“Ours in Easington hasn’t been used as much as the ones in Peterlee or Seaham.

“There are rumours that the whole of Healthworks is closing but that’s not the case, it’s seen as an example in the whole county.”

Councillor June Clark, who represents Horden, said it was disappointing that Horden’s practice was in an area where lots of elderly people live and they may have to travel.

But she said: “Hopefully this consultation will give people a chance to here what’s being put on.”

County councillor for Wingate, Leo Taylor, said it would be inappropriate to comment while the consultation is underway. An NHS England spokesman said: “The intention of this consultation is to seek views from patients and local stakeholders about the proposals to change the number of APMS contracts (practices) held by the area team.

“At the end of the consultation we will prepare a report which will help with any decisions to be taken.

“The area team will review the result of the consultation and make a decision regarding the future of services in October 2014.”

Healthwatch County Durham wants to hear the views of patients, to find out how potential closures will affect them.

The consultation ends on September 29. To give your views, email Info@healthwatchcountydurham.co.uk, freephone 08008 8010384, call (01325) 375960 or write to HWCD, The Work Place, Heighington Lane Aycliffe Business Park, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, DL5 6AH.