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Uncertainty for 9,000 patients at closure-threatened GP surgeries

By Richard Guttridge | West Bromwich | Health | Published:

Two GP practices in West Bromwich could be closed in a move that would affect thousands of patients.

The Malling Health Centre in Parsonage Street

Health bosses have launched a consultation on the futures of Malling Health Centre in Parsonage Street and Malling Health in Great Bridge.

Both surgeries’ contracts are due to end next year with officials now having to decide whether to put them back out to tender or close them.

The two practices serve almost 9,000 patients and people will be asked for their feedback on the proposals.

Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is behind the plans, said there are seven GP practices within a mile radius of Great Bridge and five from Parsonage Street which ‘may be able to accommodate’ patients.

However, the CCG has also acknowledged closing the sites could pile extra pressure on already stretch health service and cause disruption for patients.

Summerfield Primary Care Centre, in Winson Green, Birmingham, could also shut under the plans which are being put forward.

Launching the consultation, the CCG said: “Out of the four APMS contracts, three of them are due to expire on 31st March 2019 and we must now decide what the future of these practices should be in order to best meet the health needs of our local population.”

On the possibility of closing the surgeries, the CCG said: “This option would mean allowing the APMS contract to expire and not procuring anything in its place. Patients would have to choose another practice to register with.”

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A spokesman said: “For each one there is an option to either reprocure the GP services at that practice or to close the practice and move patients to other local practices.

“Each one will be considered separately and as with any public consultation, no decision have been made.

“The contracts do not run out on these three practices until March 2019 but the consultation is happening now to allow time for reprocurement should that be the preferred option.”

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Deputy Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Deputy Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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