Patients at village GP surgeries in the East Riding upset at their closure and amalgamation into care centre closer to Hull

Residents fear being left 'in limbo' ahead of potential GP practice closures in the East Riding before a new surgery is built.

Swanland is losing its village GP surgery

Patient Kathryn Everington-Hunt, who has a thyroid disorder and neurological condition, said she did not know where to go once the Swanland branch of a GP practice closes in August.

Erica Willetts said residents also faced the potential closure of the North Ferriby branch of the Hessle Grange Medical Practice.

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A NHS East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) spokesperson said the Swanland surgery’s closure had been brought forward to August 31 due to a GP resigning.

The spokesperson for the CCG, which oversees local GP practices, added a proposal to close the North Ferriby practice was also set to be considered once a consultation has finished.

They also said patients needed to attend the Willerby branch of the Willerby and Swanland surgery until the new Willand Primary Care Centre opens in Anlaby in January 2022.

It comes as both branches are set to close entirely, with services transferred to the new £4m site in Anlaby’s Lowfield Road which is currently being built.

But Mrs Everington-Hunt claimed the Willerby branch was “not fit for purpose” and patients from the closing Swanland practice would strain services further.

Ms Willetts said the recent scaling back of local bus routes would leave elderly and vulnerable patients and those without a car struggling to reach alternatives or the new practice.

East Riding councillors also voted to refer a motion expressing concern about the closures and GP services to a scrutiny committee for further investigation this week.

Mrs Everington-Hunt, who also has a Vitamin B deficiency, said she first found out about the Swanland closure from a notice outside while going for a routine injection.

The mother-of-three, whose daughter Eleanor is severely asthmatic, said: “I haven’t received any letters or anything about the closure. I’m going to have to stay with the Willerby branch for the time being, all of the patients have to go there.

“My daughter and I are both on a lot of medication, we need to be close to a GP and have appointments available. Swanland has already reduced its days to three a week and now we’ll have to go to Willerby from August.

“It’s already a nightmare trying to get an appointment, and with hundreds and hundreds of new houses being built, where are the new families going to go?

“We’re not happy about having to go to Anlaby but it will be better once the new surgery is built.”

Ms Willetts said the potential closure of the North Ferriby practice would make an existing “lack of services” worse.

The resident, a member of the North Ferriby and Swanland in Focus campaign group, said: “If the practice closes we’ll be left in limbo.

“I’m asthmatic, it’s relatively minor and under control, but I haven’t had my six month review in a year because I’ve been unable to find a GP locally, I’m still registered in Manchester.

“I can still get my prescription but if it changes I might not find out.

“Transport is also a huge issue for people here, especially in Willerby, this is a rural area where more people are elderly or have health issues. This potential closure just feels like another blow.”

Willerby and Swanland Surgery stated more staff had been put on at the Willerby branch ahead of August’s closure and flexible appointments to fit with bus times were available.

An East Riding of Yorkshire CCG spokesperson said of the closures: “A final business case was approved by the CCG’s Governing Body in October 2020 for the relocation of Willerby and Swanland Surgery to a new purpose-built modern building.

“However, due to staffing capacity following the resignation of one of their GPs, the practice has subsequently requested to close their Swanland branch site from 31 August 2021.

“Restrictions introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic, and physical limitations of the Swanland surgery estate, has meant most face-to-face nurse and GP appointments are already being undertaken from the Willerby premises.

“Following the closure of the Swanland surgery, the practice will be able relocate additional resources more effectively from their Willerby site to ensure the healthcare needs of their patients continue to be met.

“A proposal from Hessle Grange Medical Practice to close their North Ferriby branch surgery was presented to our Primary Care Commissioning Committee (PCCC) in February 2021.

“Additional information has been sought from Hessle Grange Medical Practice regarding their proposal, and further engagement with registered patients and wider stakeholders is being undertaken by the practice and NHS England.

“Once this additional information has been obtained and the engagement work has been completed and assessed, a further report will be presented to PCCC for consideration and decision.”

An NHS England spokesperson said of the North Ferriby practice closure: “As part of the consultation process, the practice has conducted registered-patient engagement, and wider stakeholder engagement is being carried out by NHS England and NHS Improvement in conjunction with the CCG.”