Patients brand GP closures in Rugby ‘an absolute joke’

The surgeries will close on April 17

The surgeries will close on April 17

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Patients are furious after learning their GP surgeries are closing and a temporary system has been put in place.

Albert Street Medical Centre, in Albert Street, Rugby, and its sister surgery Brownsover Medical Practice, in Bow Fell, will close on April 17 when the NHS contract comes to an end.

From April 18, temporary GP services will be provided by Beech Tree and Market Quarters Medical Practices in Lower Hillmorton Road, Rugby. Some transport will be provided for patients.

Stuart Baldwin, 64, a patient at the Brownsover practice, said: “I’ve been a patient there for around 20 years and I think this situation is a disgrace. It’s an absolute joke to give such short notice and close it down in a busy area.”

The surgeries were going to close on March 31 but the date has been extended to April 17.

Sue Price, director of commissioning (West Midlands) for NHS England, said: “I am pleased to be able to say that a caretaker was appointed late last week. A letter is going out to all patients this week to outline the options that are available to them.

“We would like to reassure patients that no one will be left without a GP surgery as a result of these proposed changes.”

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey and Rugby Borough Councillor for Brownsover, Claire Edwards, met with NHS England yesterday (Thursday).

Mr Pawsey said: “All Rugby residents deserve high quality primary health care services from a local GP surgery. I will be doing all I can to find a swift resolution to this situation.”

Cllr Edwards said: “I have to say that patients should be at the heart of these decisions, and clearly have not been and I have written to NHS England in the strongest possible terms to sort this out properly.

“Personally, I have always pressed for a new state of the art medical centre in Brownsover for both existing and the hundreds of new patients that need primary care facilities in the North of Rugby.

“It is imperative that concrete plans are put in place for the very short and long term to meet those very real needs.

“If we hadn’t had a reorganisation of the NHS two years ago then I firmly believe the previous Primary Care Trust would have built it by now.”

Drop-in sessions will be held on March 2 5pm to 7pm and March 9 12pm to 2pm at The Harvest Centre, Albert Street, Rugby. Additional Brownsover sessions are being arranged.

Patients can email primarycare.team@nhs.net