Closure of Wrenthorpe Surgery to be questioned by NHS bosses

Wrenthorpe Surgery.
Wrenthorpe Surgery.

NHS bosses will be asked to publicly explain their decision to close a village doctor’s surgery.

It comes after Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) confirmed that Wrenthorpe Branch Surgery will close, forcing villagers to travel to neighbouring Outwood for GP appointments.

The CCG had initially refused the surgery’s parent practice, Outwood Park Medical Centre, permission to close the branch in January, but performed a U-turn earlier this month. It said it was told that just 15 appointments a week were being carried out at the Wrenthorpe branch, but an expanded service could be offered at Outwood.

But now Wakefield Council’s public health scrutiny committee will summon CCG management to its next meeting after expressing concerns about how the decision was made

Speaking at a meeting of the committee on Thursday, Wrenthorpe ward councillor Charlie Keith said: “The decision was lile a teacher giving a pupil his homework back and saying, ‘have another a go’.”

He said: “We’re concerned about the impact this may have on other services in Wrenthorpe like on the pharmacy and the dentists.

“But I want to know whether the decision has been made with everything, including the opinions of residents, having been fully considered.

“What was the change between January when it (the proposal) was handed back to them with a ‘could do better’ and now?”

In statement issued last week a CCG spokeswoman said: “The practice submitted the proposal based on its view that a more comprehensive and safer service could be offered to all its patients, including residents of Wrenthorpe, by centralising and expanding services on one site.”

“The practice also confirmed that access for patients with disabilities and additional needs will be easier at the Outwood site.”

Frail and vulnerable patients living in Wrenthorpe will be offered free to transport to and from the Outwood surgery for the first six months after the closure.