‘No sense’ in plans to close surgery in midst of NHS crisis

PLANS to close a branch surgery serving 600 people in East Riding “won’t help” at a time the city’s accident and emergency department is at breaking point, councillors say.

Elderly villagers from Little Weighton who for decades have used the surgery in the village hall two afternoons a week to see a doctor face having to take a bus trip of up to two hours into Hull and back out to a surgery at South Cave.

Brough and South Cave Medical Practice have said the building, which doesn’t have disabled access, is not up to standard.

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But Pam Woodall, who uses the surgery, which is due to close at the end of next month, said people relied on it for repeat prescriptions and it was heavily used: “People are very concerned.

“There’s a lot of elderly women who don’t drive and instead of walking to the surgery, which is open two afternoons a week, they would be faced with a round trip of possibly two hours and that’s when they are not feeling very well.”

It comes after figures showed Hull’s accident and emergency department had the third worst performance in the country between October and December with just four in five patients seen within four hours. The hospital’s medical director said this week delays of up two hours for patients in ambulances outside the hospital were “not acceptable.”

An £8m upgrade won’t be complete until March and Unison says they don’t think it will be enough to meet the surge in demand.

Ward councillor Tony Galbraith, who is raising the issue at East Riding Council next month, said: “The big problem we have in the NHS now is too many people going to A&E and closing branch surgeries in rural areas is not going to help.”

The surgery said they were looking at all options after a patient consultation exercise. They added: “We hope to be able to work closely with NHS England and East Riding Council to provide a service that will meet the needs of the Little Weighton community.”