It was standing room only in a Cambridgeshire village hall today as residents packed in to hear more about the sudden closure of their GP surgery.
Brooklands Village Hall, Sutton, was the venue for the meeting co-ordinated by NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough to face the backlash over the closure of the surgery that will affect 6,000 patients.
Local councillor Mark Inskip tweeted: “A packed daytime meeting in Sutton to hear from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS (Integrated Care System) about the loss of the GP surgery in Sutton.
“There can be no doubt about the strength of feeling and concern from local residents and patients.
“Lots of apologies for the way that the news broke, but everyone wants to understand what the future holds.”
NHS promise ‘high quality GP services’
The NHS has said it remains “committed to ensuring all patients have access to high quality GP services and care, now and in the future”.
In a statement about the Priors Field surgery closure it said: “We are continuing to work to find a primary care solution that meets the needs of local people.”
NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said an additional face to face public meeting to discuss Priors Field Surgery will be held by NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough on Thursday 9 March at 6.30pm – 7.30pm at Sutton Primary School.
There is an online public meeting 2: Online meeting: 6pm – 7pm, join via online via MS Teams.
Hastily arranged meeting by Steve Barclay
MP Steve Barclay, who is also health secretary, has also stepped in, with a meeting last Friday with neighbouring MP Lucy Frazer and Cllr Anna Bailey, Leader of East Cambs District Council.
They met at the Prior Fields Surgery in Sutton this afternoon with Jan Thomas, chief executive officer and Dr Gary Howsam chief clinical improvement officer from NHS Cambs and Peterborough Integrated Care Board (ICB) to discuss what can be done to maintain primary care services in Sutton.
“There are a number of issues regarding the state of the current building part of which is Grade 2 listed, its ownership, and contractual disputes, which are hampering alternative arrangements for primary care in Sutton,” said Mr Barclay.
“However, both Lucy and l are keen to explore with the ICB, who are responsible for commissioning primary care across Cambridgeshire, how we put in place alternative provision without asking residents to permanently move to other GPs.
“It is clear such an outcome would pose significant problems for residents given the transport difficulties this would create as well as the pressure it would put on primary care services locally, notably Ely.”
He said: “The ICB has agreed to work up plans at pace for what would be required to establish alternative primary care services that are locally accessible to Sutton residents.
“They also confirmed that equipment at the surgery would not be lost locally, which was an issue raised with me by residents I chatted to prior to the meeting.
“Having only been told of the proposed surgery changes late last week when this was made public, both Lucy and I are keen to fully test with the ICB whether new primary care provision can be put in place for Sutton residents.
“Given concerns locally it is important the ICB reach a decision as quickly as possible.”
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