CONCERN over the failure to find a new provider to run Woodrow Medical Centre has prompted Redditch’s Labour leader to quiz local health chiefs.
Bromsgrove & Redditch Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced last week that the medical centre would close at the end of this year after failing to find a permanent doctors’ practice to take over from the temporary one currently in place.
Woodrow Medical Centre currently has less than 4,000 patients on its books and the CCG says that to be viable, a GP practice needs at least 6,000.
As an alternative it said places were available at Winyates Health Centre, Crabbs Cross Surgery, and The Medical Centre Crabbs Cross.
Councillor Bill Hartnett (Lab, Church Hill) immediately wrote to the chief operations officer of Worcestershire’s three CCGs over future plans following the closure.
“I wrote raising my concerns – for instance what if any travel arrangements will be provided particularly for elderly residents to get to a new practice, will the three practices suggested need any building work or extensions to accommodate the extra patents and what are the plans for the existing medical centre building in Woodrow,” he said.
He was told doctors were aware of the impact of patient dispersal but given the majority using the Woodrow Medical Centre were under 50 and take-up of provided transport in other areas had been minimal, no plans to provide any had been put in place yet.
Meanwhile plans were already in place to extend Winyates Medical Centre and while there were four practices in Redditch below 6,000 patients, ‘neighbourhood teams’ were being established to support these.
Woodrow Medical Centre itself was owned by the previous senior GP partner and there was no information on any plans for the building.
The practice that had previously run the Centre had its licence withdrawn earlier this year after concerns over patient safety were raised by the Care Quality Commission.
To support those patients affected the CCG is holding a number of drop-in sessions where patients can discuss any concerns they have.
The first two sessions are on Monday, October 8 from 2pm to 4pm at Woodrow Library (25 Woodrow Centre, Studley Road, Redditch, B98 7RY) and on Thursday, October 11, from 12noon to 2pm again at Woodrow Library.