This is the letter that has been sent to households in Abeford.
Proposed closure of Aberford branch surgery (Jessamine Cottage)
I am writing to you on behalf of the Partners at Garforth Medical Practice. Garforth Medical Practice is made up of three surgeries – our main site, at Garforth Medical Centre, and two branch surgeries, at Aberford and Barwick-in-Elmet. Please share this information with other members of your household.
NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (which organises the delivery of NHS services in the Leeds area) have accepted a request from the practice to engage with our registered patients on a proposal to close our branch surgery at Jessamine Cottage in Aberford. We would like to hear your views about this proposed change.
As you are probably aware, in March 2020, we closed our Aberford surgery when the pandemic began. When appointments were needed, Aberford patients were seen at Garforth and Barwick-in-Elmet surgeries. All medicine dispensing for Aberford patients was carried out at the Barwick-in-Elmet branch surgery.
In September 2020, we reopened the Aberford surgery for dispensing but have been unable to offer appointments there due to concerns about maintaining patient safety. This is directly linked to infection control and the fact that we are unable to make the building COVID secure.
The reasons behind our proposal to close Aberford surgery:
- Providing a safe environment for our patients and staff is an absolute priority for us and this is not possible at the Aberford surgery.
- The Aberford surgery premises are outdated. We struggle to maintain our infection control standards, as it is a Grade 2 listed building in need of modernisation.
- The building is not compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA); there is a step down into the surgery and a narrow flight of stairs up to the doctor’s consulting room.
- It is important to us (and it is a legal requirement) that all our patients are able to access a purpose-built modern surgery with lift access, where necessary. Both Barwick-in-Elmet and Garforth surgeries offer this.
How might this affect me?
If, following the public engagement, it is agreed for the proposed closure to go ahead and you are one of our patients who attends the Aberford surgery, you will not need to change doctors or move to a different practice, unless this is something that you wish to do.
Your medical records will continue to be held by Garforth Medical Practice, and you will be able to continue seeing a GP there or at the Barwick-in-Elmet surgery. Dispensing patients will have their medication dispensed from the Barwick surgery, unless they choose to nominate a local pharmacy to dispense their medication.
Find out more and share your views on our proposal
The public engagement will open on Monday 13 September and run until Friday 15 October. There are several ways you can get involved and have your say:
1. Fill in our online survey here: www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Aberford/
Don’t worry if you aren’t able to access the survey online – we can provide paper copies (please see below). We can also provide the survey in alternative formats on request (such as alternative languages or easy read). We will also send you a text message which will include the link which will take you directly to the online survey.
A copy of our engagement plan and a FAQ sheet (Frequently Asked Questions) about the proposal, including further details on the dispensing element, are available on our website at www.garforthmedicalcentre.co.uk.
2. Come to our online public meeting
We will be holding an online public meeting to give our patients the opportunity to discuss this proposed change with representatives from the practice.
The public meeting will be held, using the online Zoom meeting platform, on:
- Tuesday 5 October 2021 from 6 – 7pm
If you would like to attend the meeting please let us know using the contact details below, and we will forward you the joining instructions.
If you cannot attend but would like your feedback, comments or questions to be included at the meeting, please email them to us at [email protected] or call 0113 385 4535 and leave a message by Friday 1 October 2021. We will aim to answer these at the online event and/or in our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page on our website.
If you would prefer to speak to someone in person, please let us know and we will call you back as soon as we are able.
Dr Andrew Robinson