Patients have say on Hambleton branch closure

Close up of someone filling out a satisfaction survey

A Wyre doctors surgery has vowed to work with local people to help minimise the issues caused by the closure of its smaller branch practice.

Over Wyre Medical Centre in Wilkinson Way, Preesall, has closed its Hambleton branch after its lease came to an end earlier this month.

The practice asked its patients to complete a survey so it could best understand what issues the closure of the Kiln Lane site would create.

And having received more than 1,000 responses, GPs at the surgery will now look to help those patients most affected by the closure.

Dr Luke Holmes, GP partner at Over Wyre Medical Centre, said: “Unfortunately the building in Hambleton was no longer fit for purpose as the standards required of NHS property have increased dramatically in recent years.

“Our lease was also coming to an end and there was no real way to make the Kiln Lane building suitable within any realistic budget, so sadly there was no real choice.

“We are keen to make sure the closure does not impact patients too heavily and so will look to offer even more services at our Preesall site while working with our patients to help people who may struggle to get to our main site.”

The survey was launched on Wednesday 12 July 2020 and closed on Friday 14 August 2020. There were 1,060 responses. The survey asked people if they had used the Hambleton branch and if they would be affected by its closure, also allowing for comments to be made.

The biggest issue raised was how accessible the Preesall site is for people living in Hambleton and the additional costs people will face in travelling via public transport or taxi. The practice has committed to continuing to offer as many appointments as possible remotely, via phone or video link, and will also look to establish a volunteer transport service run by patients to help people get to their appointments.

Concerns were also raised about additional pressures at the Preesall site, however the number of appointments being offered in total will remain the same and the practice will review the number of appointments to make sure there are enough.

Questions were also raised about the future of the pharmacy in Hambleton but as it stands, the pharmacy will remain open on the site.

Having seen the results of the survey and considering any options, NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group has approved the closure of the branch on the condition the practice ensures a high quality and accessible service to people living in Hambleton.

Kevin Toole, chair of the CCG’s primary care commissioning committee, said: “The people of Hambleton have shown they feel strongly about this decision and so we will be working closely with the practice to make sure services are still available to people living in the area and are as convenient as possible.”

The full results of the public survey and ‘next steps’ can be viewed online at www.fyldecoastccgs.nhs.uk/hambleton