Anger over plans to close Ketton Branch Surgery

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Patients at Ketton’s doctors’ surgery have hit out after proposals to close it.

There is currently a 90-day consultation on the proposed closure of the Ketton Branch Surgery.

The NHS say not enough appointments are being made there and want to move its services to Uppingham Surgery to “centralise services” for patients.

Concerned patients believe the surgery, which is open two mornings a week, would attract more patients if it is better advertised - and say moving services to Uppingham is a bad idea as transport links between Ketton and the town are poor.

They expressed their anger at a packed drop-in session on the consultation held at the surgery last Friday morning.

Mike Adams, who attended the session, said: “If it is open only two days a week, you are going to think it is better to go to another surgery which is open more regularly.”

He went on to say the bus services between Ketton and Uppingham run very two hours - which makes it difficult for people from Ketton to attend appointments if the services were transferred.

He added: “If you go there, how are you going to get back? Wait two hours?”

Another patient who was there on Friday, Josette Carroll, said: “I do not think a lot of patients even know it exists, it is not well advertised.

“There is a lot of elderly people here who cannot get to Uppingham.”

The consultation ends on May 1.

Practice manager Vicki Abbott said: “We have been engaging with patients and other members of the public on our proposal to close Ketton branch surgery and wrote to them on this issue, making clear our proposals and encouraging them to take part in a public consultation.

“This is because we have been experiencing difficulty in managing and sustaining the site for some time.

“All of our patients deserve high level healthcare but we are unable to deliver the services that we would like to, from Ketton Branch Surgery because of the limited facilities.

“Additionally, only 10 to 15 per cent of those who live in Ketton access services at the Ketton site and a significant number of GP appointments remain unused (41 per cent between January and June 2017). This low demand means that our GPs are not being utilised most where they are needed; at our main site in Uppingham, where they could treat patients with complex needs.

“The proposal to close Ketton branch surgery has been a difficult consideration that we have had to put forward. Our GPs are primarily concerned about the well-being of our patients and we are aware of the difficulties that the proposed closure of Ketton branch surgery will have on some of our patients.

“We are therefore committed to having conversations with our patients early in the consultation and providing them with an opportunity to ask questions and to comment on our proposals.

“We have been holding face-to-face drop-in sessions for this purpose and would encourage as many people as possible to attend. All feedback will then be examined carefully before any decision is 
made.”

The consultation ends on May 1.

Further drop-in sessions are set to be held at Thursday, March 15, betweem 5.30pm and 7pm at Uppingham Surgery; Wednesday, March 21, between 9.30am and 10.30am at Barrowden Surgery; Monday, April 16, from 9.30am to 11.30am at Ketton Surgery and Thursday, April 19, from 4.30pm to 5.30pm at Gretton Surgery.

The surgery is also encouraging patients to provide their feedback by taking part in a survey.

To take part in the surgery visit https www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/UppinghamSurgery-HaveYourSay-2018

People can also telephone 01572 823531 if they require a hardcopy, need the information in another format or language, or if they need assistance completing the survey.

Additionally, copies of the survey will be available from the reception at each surgery.

l Further information about Friday’s drop-in session are in the Village News section which starts on page 83.