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Medical group plans to close village surgery near Grantham

A medical group is considering closing one of its surgeries permanently.

The Vale Medical Group has announced its proposal to permanently close its branch practice in Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir, following its temporary closure in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The group includes the Long Clawson Medical Practice, The Stackyard Surgery in Croxton Kerrial, and The Woolsthorpe Surgery.

Woolsthorpe Surgery.Photo: Google Maps (41797464)
Woolsthorpe Surgery.Photo: Google Maps (41797464)

At the same time, the group is also proposing it moves The Stackyard Surgery from NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, into NHS East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group, which would be an administrative move and a change to the community services provider. The medical group says this would mean it would be able to provide more effective patient care and access to Leicestershire-based services, such as x-ray.

The Woolsthorpe Surgery was closed in March because it does not have the space to be able to accommodate social distancing.Since then, GP services for patients registered at The Woolsthorpe Surgery have been provided from The Stackyard Surgery.

The Vale Medical Group is seeking the views of its patients on its proposal to permanently close The Woolsthorpe Surgery, and move The Stackyard Surgery into East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG. A consultation has started and will will run for eight weeks.

A few years ago, the Woolsthorpe and Stackyard Surgeries consulted patients on plans to formally merge into one practice.

Dr Philip Rathbone, of the Vale Medical Group, said: "The current size and layout of The Woolsthorpe Surgery, especially the reception and waiting area, is very small, meaning we cannot implement social distancing.We need to bear in mind that Covid-19 appears to be something that will be with us for the long-term and we cannot accommodate patients safely whilst ensuring social distancing.

“In addition, the car park at The Woolsthorpe Surgery has recently been declared unsafe by the local council, and, whilst patients and staff have previously used it, from a health and safety perspective we do not feel that we should ask anyone to use it in the future.These are the primary reasons behind our proposal to permanently close The Woolsthorpe Surgery.

“With this in mind, it is really important to us that we give our patients, particularly those registered at The Woolsthorpe Surgery, and The Stackyard Surgery, the chance to share their thoughts, including any concerns they may have about our proposals, and we hope they will take the opportunity to tell us what they think about both.”

Patients will be able to share their views by completing a short survey, available online via the group’s website www.valemedicalgroup.co.uk , or a paper copy can be posted on request (from any of the group’s practices).There will also be two online Zoom/Teams meetings, details to be available shortly from the group’s website, at which representatives of the Vale Medical Group will be speaking and able to take questions.

The group will also be making available via its website a short video, providing some background to its proposals, as well as a Frequently Asked Questions document, also available via its website, which should help provide answers to some of the more commonly asked questions over the coming weeks.

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