Underwood GP surgery set to close: campaigners are to hold a public meeting

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

A public meeting is being held after it was revealed Underwood is set to lose its GP surgery.

The surgery on Hankin Avenue is set to close on February 29 with 1,300 patients transferred to the Jacksdale surgery.

Nottinghamshire County Councillor David Martin said residents were shocked to see a ‘bolt out of the blue’ notice posted in their doctor’s surgery shortly before Christmas,

He said: “The notice in Underwood stated that the doctor had retired on December 29 and that the surgery would be run by a locum doctor and a nurse on Wednesday afternoons only - but did not say the surgery was set to close altogether in February.

He said the closure plan presented before Nottinghamshire County Council’s Health and Scrutiny Committee on January 18, was “flawed and misleading”.

Coun Martin said: “The Plan referred to a bus service from the heart of Underwood to Jacksdale, which would easily enable some of the Underwood residents without transport to access the surgery there but certainly not the less able.

“In reality there are five buses a day finishing just after lunchtime.

“The Plan also noted the agreement to the closure by the Patient Participation Group on 21 December.

“A spokesman from the PPG confirmed that this was not the case.”

He said the plan referred to consultations, letters and questionnaires to patients, which should have taken place by the end of January, but did not.

Due to these shortcomings the Health and Scrutiny Committee is investigating further.

Councillor Martin said: “It is imperative that medical services are maintained in Underwood.

“This is the tip of the iceberg for rural communities’ all over the country.”

A public meeting will be held at the Underwood Miners Welfare Church Lane Underwood on Friday February 19 at 6pm to discuss the closure of the Underwood Doctors Surgery.

Coun Martin added: “ The surgery has been here for just over 40 years and is set to close regardless of our opinions, due to the unsustainable financial viability of the current practice circumstances.

“We shall be discussing patient accessibility to essential G.P services generally and also via public transport concerning the proposed move of approximately 1300 patients down to Jacksdale, and any possible proposals for the installation of a micro consultation surgery remaining in Underwood at a location yet to be finalised, and its impact on the Jacksdale Surgery and village centre.

He added; “This is an extremely sad state of affairs for the residents of Underwood and Jacksdale because I know that the elder generation fought tooth and nail to get the Surgeries here all those years ago and some of you are still here to testify to that fact.”

Underwood is the third closure of a doctor’s surgery in the East Midlands in 2016.

Two surgeries are also due for closure in Leicestershire, amid concerns from GPs about the viability of running smaller practices.