Thousands of patients will be affected by the closure of Earsdon Park Medical Practice according to the chairman of Healthwatch North Tyneside.
The NHS GP Surgery, which operates across two centres in Shiremoor and Longbenton, is scheduled to close once the current contract runs out on March 31, 2018.
Peter Kendrick, the chairman of Healthwatch — an independent body that acts on behalf of patients — has warned that some patients have voiced concerns over the planned closures. He said that complaints included a “reduction in patient choice” as well as “less accessible GP services”.
Mr Kenrick also claimed that there had been accusations that the Clinical Commissioning Group is “not fulfilling its obligations.”
He said: “In relation to the continuous improvement of services and reduction in health inequalities.”
Earsdon Park Medical Practice currently cares for 3,129 patients at the Shiremoor Resource Centre and 1,341 patients at the Oxford Centre in Longbenton.
Dr John Matthews, a GP and the chair of the North Tyneside CCG, said: “This is disappointing news for us all, but we can assure patients that GP services will continue to be available to everyone in the area.”
Dr Matthews reassured patients: “There are five practices accepting new patients within one and a half miles of Shiremoor Resource Centre and more than six close to the Oxford Centre.”
“We have written to all patients with an update and some practical information about choosing another practice. We will ensure that help is at hand for anyone who finds this difficult, and we are working closely with neighbouring practices to ensure they are well placed to welcome new patients to their lists.”
Patients who would like help to change their GP practice can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 032 0202 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthwatch is available to discuss any concerns or questions that patients may have either by phone, 0191 263 5321, or by email at email@example.com.