RESIDENTS angry at the planned closure of Studley medical centre found a voice at Tuesday night’s parish council meeting.
Councillor Adrian Smith spoke for hundreds when he complained that two drop-in sessions organised by South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) were not only on the same day, August 11, but ran concurrently, from 4pm to 6pm at a time when many people would either be on holiday or at work.
He added a closing date for responses of an online survey of August 22 was far too soon, as was the date for a final decision – set for September 14.
There was further confusion over the consultation letters sent out by the CCG – some had received theirs, others hadn’t, while in other cases they’d been addressed to the household.
The practice, with some 2,000 patients, is the smallest in south Warwickshire.
The meeting was addressed by Dr Margaret Buckley from the centre who, while admitting the doctors had agreed to terminate their contracts, accused the CCG of trying to ‘score brownie points’ by selling off the land the medical centre stands on and failing to come up with an alternative practice on the site “despite months of negotiations where we gave them a solution.”
District Coun Hazel Wright voiced the suspicion the decision to close the centre took place in secret after she’d searched the minutes of CCG board meetings without finding any reference to closure plans.
Members resolved to invite Alison Walshe, the CCG’s director of quality and performance, to address a parish meeting, to ask to see the CCG’s paper trail on how the decision was reached, and to ask it to again look at a ‘third option’ of keeping the centre open.
In addition they resolved to ask for an extension on the consultation process.