Fury Over Proposed Closure Of Hale GP Surgery
PATIENTS and politicians are incensed over the proposed closure of Hale Village GP surgery.
Halton MP Derek Twigg is fighting to keep it open.
He said: "I am clearly opposed to the closing of the surgery in Hale Village which is very important to my constituents who use it.
"Hale Village is quite isolated and also has a sizeable elderly population and not everybody has a car.
"It is important that the Clinical Commissioning Group takes steps to secure the future of the GP surgery in the village."
Halton Cllr Mike Wharton who represents Hale Village is also opposed to the closure.
He said: "This is completely unacceptable and it is vital that Halton CCG consider ways to ensure we are able to receive and access healthcare within a reasonable distance from where we live."
One elderly woman who lives in the village said: "I don't drive and rely on this surgery. I am worried now in case I fall ill. I don't know what I will do if they close this practice."
Patients who use the Upton Rocks branch surgery at Hale Village are now being asked for their views on the potential closure.
The main Upton Rocks practice recently wrote to NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group requesting approval to close the branch surgery, which is open for three hours a week as it has become increasing difficult to maintain the service.
This surgery is currently open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 1pm to 2.30pm.
The main reasons behind the request are operational and financial viability as the practice have had difficulty in being able to staff the branch surgery and there are concerns regarding lone working in addition to the financial costs of running the branch surgery which is often underutilised.
In addition, the building is not fit for purpose and requires major improvements and repairs to meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.
A formal public consultation has been launched and will run until August 6.
Patients are being asked to give their comments and views, all of which will help to inform the recommendations.
The consultation is available at smartsurvey.co.uk/s/HaleVillage/ or a paper copy can be accessed from Hale Village GP Practice, Upton Rocks GP practice and from NHS Halton CCG, Runcorn Town Hall.
There will be an opportunity to speak to representatives from Hale GP Branch surgery and NHS Halton CCG at drop in sessions on Tuesday, July 10, from 11am to 2pm at Hale Village Hall and Wednesday, August 1, from 5pm to 7pm at Hale Village Hall.
Anyone wishing to attend is asked to email email@example.com or call 01928 593578.
There is a dedicated Hale Village branch surgery consultation at haltonccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/hale-village-gp-practice.
In the meantime patients can continue to make appointments at Hale Village branch surgery as usual.
Article/Research by Barbara Jordan of Runcorn/Widnes World