Closure of the Skellingthorpe Branch surgery
Proposals to close a village GP branch surgery have been approved.
The GP partners of The Glebe Practice, who treat over 8,000 patients at two surgeries in Saxilby and Skellingthorpe, approached NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in May to propose the closure of their branch surgery in Skellingthorpe.
Dr Catherine Ash, GP partner at The Glebe Practice said that the health of her patients was paramount.
Dr Ash said: “I’ve been a GP at the practice for nearly 25 years and patients who know me know how committed I am to ensuring they have access to good quality services.
“For the majority of the time I’ve been at the practice we’ve been very fortunate to have had several long serving GPs working at the practice like myself.
“Sadly in recent times we’ve had several GPs leave and each year it becomes increasingly difficult to replace them.
“This has made providing services to patients across two premises a real challenge.”
Dr Ash added:
“Our proposals have always been about ensuring the long term future of our practice so that we can continue to treat patients from all the villages we serve for generations to come.
“In the future all services will be provided from our main site at Saxilby in our purpose built building where patients can access a much wider range of health care services.
“We are grateful to the CCG for agreeing to our proposals so we can now start planning for the changes ahead.”
The proposals were approved at the CCGs Primary Care Commissioning Committee meeting where members were presented with findings from the public consultation.
Sarah-Jane Mills, Chief Operating Officer at Lincolnshire West CCG said the feedback received from the consultation had been really helpful and the CCG were grateful to those people who took part.
“During the consultation we listened to a lot of people’s views, comments and concerns.
“We know that transport from Skellingthorpe to Saxilby is going to be difficult for a number of patients and we will support the residents and parish council in the village to find a solution to this.
“Frail housebound patients will continue to receive home visits as per the current protocol.
“We’ve also spoken to the Co-op who has said residents of Skellingthorpe can continue to access the pharmacy in the village as normal to collect prescription and get advice and treatment for minor health concerns.”
During the consultation, residents had queried whether relocating the surgery to alternative premises in the village was an option or for a neighbouring GP practice to take over the surgery.
Ms Mills continued:
“Whilst we could look to address the issues regarding the premises it still wouldn’t solve the issue of being able to provide adequate staffing at the site.
“The GP partners have been clear that they will be in a much more stable position if they are providing services from one premises instead of two, and that Saxilby is the more suitable building.
“We had spoken to a number of neighbouring GP practices but none were prepared to take over the running of Skellingthorpe Surgery.
Sarah-Jane added that future plans for healthcare would see patients accessing services in a different way.
“We have seen great advances in technology over the last few years.
“Patients at some surgeries are already having face to face consultations with their GP via a video screen over the internet. Early feedback has been positive as patients don’t have to travel or take time off work.
“We’re also seeing more joined up working between health care teams through the development of primary care networks and neighbourhood working, so that our most vulnerable residents are cared for in a more coordinated way.”
No date has been agreed for the closure of Skellingthorpe Surgery and the advice to patients is to continue to access appointments as normal.