Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Patients Express Fears for Patients Express Fears for GP Service Facing Closure GP Service Facing Closure

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Patients Express Fears for Patients Express Fears for GP Service Facing Closure GP Service Facing Closure

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Rae Health Reporter helen.rae@ncjmedia.co.uk

PATIENTS have raised fears over the potential axing of a medical centre in the region.

The GP practice at Blaydon Health Centre, which is part of the leisure centre on Shibdon Road, is at risk of closure as health chiefs say there is a low number of people registered with the service.

Patients at Blaydon Health Centre rate the service highly with a 91.8% satisfaction score - among the best in the area - and patients say they are worried about registering with other GPs who do not know their family history.

A spokesperson for NHS England in Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, said: "There is currently no waiting list for GP services at Blaydon Health Centre and patients are able to register with the practice.

"A four-week period was originally put in place to give patients the opportunity to share their views on the current GP services and the affect it would have on them should they need to re-register with another practice. The consultation period has now been extended to September 12, and we would welcome views from all patients and stakeholders.

"There will also be an opportunity for patients to attend drop-in sessions at the practice to discuss their concerns, and we would encourage everyone to attend."

The Blaydon GP service opened in 2009 and the original contract ended in May this year. Services are currently being delivered through a temporary provider until January, but closure is "an option that is being considered".

NHS chiefs are now getting patients' and stakeholders feedback of the need for the facility. There is currently just under 1,500 patients registered with the service and the walk-in centre at the site is not part of the review.

A final decision on the future of the GP practice will not be made until later this year when engagement with patients and stakeholders has concluded. In the meantime, patients are able to continue to access services from the practice.

MPs in the region claim that a decision to review the primary care centre is down to "money and competition," yet health bosses insist they will focus on patient feedback. …

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