‘Hands off our surgery’

Brenda Williamson outside the Easington Healthworks.
Brenda Williamson outside the Easington Healthworks.

A patient has hailed the “fantastic” GP surgery which could close under an NHS review.

NHS England is reviewing the contracts at the doctor’s surgeries at Easington’s Healthworks, Wingate Medical Practice and Jupiter House, in Horden, which are up for renewal in March 2015.

The NHS propose to decommission the surgeries at Healthworks and Jupiter House, with the aim of Jupiter House moving into a new extension at the Shinwell Medical Group, in Horden.

In regards to the Wingate Medical Practice, NHS England is consulting on the option to procure a new practice within the local area.

Should a new contract be introduced, it may be with the existing provider or a new provider, and the expectation is that patients registered with Wingate would be transferred to the replacement practice when it opens in April 2015.

The review looks at patient numbers, distribution and demographics, local health need, service quality, patient experience and clinical outcomes, neighbouring service provision and access, value for money and future sustainability of all primary care service providers.

At Jupiter House, there are 1,774 registered patients, lower than the anticipated 2,475.

At Wingate Medical Practice, occupancy is 2,720 – almost half the expected 5,185.

The surgery at Healthworks has 1,239 registered patients. The anticipated list size is unavailable due to its walk-in element.

Brenda Williamson, 68, from Haswell, has been with the GP practice at Healthworks since last year.

The mum-of-two and grandmother-of-two said: “They are the most fantastic doctors I have ever met.

“As soon as you walk in, somebody speaks to you, not like in some other surgeries.

“I have never waited more than five minutes over my allotted appointment time, and there’s none of these electric buzzers – the doctor will come and call you personally and escort you through.

“It’s really personal, they are just lovely.”

Brenda, who runs a haulage firm with partner Peter Briggs, 66, who also uses the surgery, added: “I don’t know what I would do if it closed, when I got the letter about it I was devastated.

“I’d intend to see the same doctors at the walk-in centre at Healthworks.

“The only problem is, if I’d need to be referred, I would need to be registered under a different doctor to have a consultation.”

A consultation ended on September 29. NHS England will write to patients detailing the outcome.