Stockton on the Forest Surgery: Yorkshire GP surgery which was shut temporarily closes for good due to staffing issues

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A York doctor’s surgery has closed permanently due to staffing issues, with patients moved to other surgeries.

Stockton on the Forest Surgery had been temporarily closed since November 2022 and it was warned a month later that it may never re-open. Haxby Group, which runs five other surgeries in York, has now announced the Stockton on the Forest Surgery has closed permanently.

It got permission from the NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) “on the basis that a more comprehensive and clinically effective range of services can be delivered via our surgery in Huntington.”

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A spokesperson for the Haxby Group said: “Despite our greatest efforts, we can no longer continue to provide a service at Stockton on the Forest Surgery, due to staff shortages.”

Stockton on the Forest SurgeryStockton on the Forest Surgery
Stockton on the Forest Surgery

The statement continued: “Please be assured that, as a Haxby Group patient, you will still have access to medical care with our clinicians, should you require it. Your nearest Haxby Group Surgery is three miles away in Huntington.

“We understand that the closure of this surgery is disappointing, but this does not mean a reduction in the total number of appointments we offer. Clinically appropriate home visits will also continue as normal.

“We have listened to patients’ concerns around transport. For those Stockton on the Forest patients with no transport support, who need to attend an appointment at one of our Surgeries, the ICB will be making suitable arrangements with York Wheels. Please ask our staff for details if you need help with transport to an appointment.”

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Coun Andrew Hollyer said: “Every week I speak to residents in our area who tell me they’ve struggled to get an appointment with their GP or an NHS dentist. Closures such as this can only increase the pressure on York’s remaining GP surgeries, many of which already have unacceptably long waiting times for appointments.”

According to The Times, there are 900 fewer fully-qualified full-time doctors than in 2019 and the British Medical Association (BMA) is preparing to ballot members over industrial action. GPs were given a six per cent pay rise in July to help tackle the problem, but the BMA has warned the problems are rooted deeper than doctor salaries.

“Whilst the GP workforce is declining, the number of patients continues to rise,” BMA analysis read. “In June 2023, another record-high of 62.6 million patients were registered in England. As a result, the average number of patients each full-time equivalent GP is responsible for continues to rise, and now stands at 2,304.

“This is an increase of 366 patients per GP, or 18.9 per cent, since 2015, demonstrating the ever-mounting workload in general practice.”

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It added: “Over the last year alone, the NHS has lost 415 individual (headcount) GP partners. In FTE terms of 37.5 hours per week, this amounts to an equivalent loss of 406 full-time fully qualified GPs. With mounting pressures in general practice, these losses are set to continue further if the Government does not take appropriate action.”