A NATIONAL shortage of salaried GPs is among the reasons behind plans to close Sandiway Surgery.

This is according to Danebridge Medical Practice, who revealed the proposals in a letter sent out to patients.

A list of ‘frequently asked questions’ circulated to patients by the practice, which also runs Kingsmead Surgery and Danebridge Medical Centre, adds that high costs are also a factor.

It states: “The Care Quality Commission’s report after the inspection in May 2019 highlighted safety issues that required improvement at Sandiway Surgery.

“It would require a very large investment to bring the premises up to standard, which is simply not available.”

Difficulties in providing ‘modern primary healthcare’ are another factor behind the closure consideration.

The letter sent to patients reads: “Earlier this year, we were inspected by our regulator, the Care Quality Commission, which resulted in an overall grading for the practice of ‘requires improvement’.

“Further to the inspection, Dr McGregor-Smith, as the executive partner, fellow partners and colleagues have worked tirelessly to ensure that we correct the processes which required improvement.

“For the partners of Danebridge Medical Practice, the decision to request closure of our branch surgery has not been taken lightly.

“Over the past 12 months, we have tried various solutions to keep the surgery open.

“However, the national shortage of salaried GPs has led to difficulties in recruiting permanent doctors.

“In addition, provision for modern primary healthcare is becoming increasingly difficult and delivery across multiple sites is no longer accessible.”

Northwich Guardian:

Sandiway Surgery (Google Maps)

The letter goes on to say: “As GPs, we are primarily concerned with the well-being of our patients.

“We believe that centralising services across two remaining locations will enable us to offer a more flexible, efficient GP service with better access for our patients.”

According to Danebridge Medical Practice, longer opening hours would be implemented at Kingsmead Surgery to accommodate those who would have previously used Sandiway, and that patients would be able to see their usual doctor or nurse.

Plans to close the surgery have been met with scrutiny by Sandiway residents, who are said to be forming a village campaign group to voice their opposition.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Weaver and Cuddington councillors – Charles Fifield, Gillian Edwards and Paul Williams – are all supportive of the village campaign to keep the surgery open.

Edward Timpson, member of Parliament for Eddisbury, has said that he has raised the issue with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and is also in correspondence with Vale Royal Clinical Commissioning Group.

Patients who will be affected by the closure of Sandiway Surgery can share their views with Danebridge Medical Practice via surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LSHYD7Y.

Alternatively, paper copies of the survey are available from Sandiway Surgery, Kingsmead Surgery and Danebridge Medical Centre.

Following a consultation period, which will end at midnight on Monday, January 27, patient feedback will be analysed and included in a report for Vale Royal CCG to decide upon on a future date to be confirmed.