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Under-threat Tettenhall GP surgery saved but opening hours face cut

By Thomas Parkes | Tettenhall | Health | Published: | Last Updated:

An under-threat GP practice will stay open but its opening hours will be cut, health bosses have announced.

WOLVERHAMPTON COPYRIGHT EXPRESS&STAR TIM THURSFIELD 17/05/19.Tettenhall Medical Practice is looking to close its Wood Road branch..

Tettenhall Medical Practice, which runs Wood Road surgery, retracted its proposal to close the branch due to feedback received during the consultation.

Plans were instead put forward to reduce the number of hours worked by GPs by cutting the opening hours, which were approved by Wolverhampton's Clinical Commissioning Group. (CCG).

The three sessions which will be cut will be picked up by the Lower Green surgery, Dr Samaiya Shafi, from Tettenhall Medical Practice said.

Campaigners against the closure said the move was "better than nothing" - but vowed to work with the practice to help recruit more healthcare professionals.

Currently, GPs are carrying out seven sessions a week – each lasting half a day – but the proposals will see this chopped to four.

More coverage of the consultation

Campaigners gathered at Christ Church in Tettenhall yesterday to hear the news – with some praising the decision to keep it open, and others criticising the plan to cut the hours.

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A total of 1,312 people responded to an online questionnaire over the initial plans for the closure, with 974 people – around 74 per cent – objecting.

Seven consultation events took place with a total of 327 people attending them.

A petition against the closure was also signed by almost 1,000 people online, with a paper petition hitting around 2,000.

William Duckett, who lives near to the surgery, said the decision was "ridiculous".

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The 83-year-old said: "If it got closed I wouldn't have been able to get to Lower Green surgery.

"With the reduction of opening hours you don't know how long it will take to get an appointment.

"It's much better than if it was closing, but there's still a struggle there."

Hundreds of people attended previous public meetings regarding the plans for Wood Road Surgery

Eleanor Smith, Labour parliamentary candidate for Wolverhampton South West, said campaigners had done a "fantastic job" at helping to keep the practice open.

"Great work has been done to save the Wood Road surgery – it's been magnificent," she said.

"A lot of people were saying it's a done deal and it wasn't. They have listened to your voices.

"We've got to reduce but that can still grow. We need more GPs – we can't let it stay as it is.

"We do not want to compromise the service."

'Better than nothing'

Robert Billing, who lives in Tettenhall Wood, said the move was "better than closing it".

The 72-year-old said: "As long as they keep it open and have a view at lengthening it to a full service, it's fine.

"It's better than nothing and I'm glad because the people were able to get something and it's nice to have Eleanor Smith backing us as well."

Stuart Anderson, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Wolverhampton South West, said he welcomed the CCG's decision.

He said: "I welcome the decision to keep our surgery.

"We wanted to keep it and build it up from there.

"I'm delighted this consultation has not been a tick-box exercise – there was a lot of anger from people and we've gone through a process and I want to thank the CCG for taking a balanced approach."

The proposals will see the practice open from 2pm to 5pm on Monday, 8am to 6.30pm on Tuesday, be closed on Wednesday, to re-open on Thursday between 8am to 12.30pm.

The practice previously opened on Monday and Tuesday from 8am to 6.30pm, 8am to 1pm on Wednesday and 8am to 6.30pm.

It is currently closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The changes will take place on January 2 next year.

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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