A LEADING doctor has apologised to villagers in Weston Rhyn after his practice proposed cutting its branch surgery.
Chirk Surgery’s Dr Robert Smith made the apology when he and practice manager, Julie Webster, met with around 50 residents from the village and neighbouring Chirk Bank at a lobbying meeting last Tuesday, December 17.
The meeting was called after concerns were raised that the twice-weekly two-hour surgeries held in the Institute will be stopped in 2014.
Dr Smith said: “I would like to apologise for being here in the first place, in an ideal world we wouldn’t be and I apologise for the lack of notice.
“We do not think the service is sustainable for practice,” he continued.
“It’s not just the building, but the consultation rooms and the facilities we have.”
Dr Smith revealed that on average just 10 people attend each surgery, with just 54 out of the 1,319 individuals registered with Chirk Surgery using the village branch in the last 12 months.
But villagers said cutting the surgeries would be “like taking away another part of the village’s heart” as they presented a 300-signature petition in support of retaining the surgery.
Pam Manley, chairman of the Parish Hall Committee, said: “I asked six months ago if there was anything we could provide and it was not taken up.
“The upstairs meeting room is fully accessible and could be partitioned into a waiting room and dedicated consulting room which would be five times bigger.
“I am not saying we are made of money, but we have a certain amount and could do it.”
Dr Smith said he would take the offers, including reducing the surgery to weekly, back to the practice partners before they make their decision, adding that although the proposal is not financially motivated, it does stem from the creation of a new state-of-the-art facility in the town.
Chirk Bank resident, Maggie Rowlands, added: “Those who need the services are going to be the ones who are not going to go to the doctor and leave it and that will be on all our consciences.”
Councillor for Selattyn, Gobowen and Weston Rhyn, David Lloyd, said: “I am conscious of people getting services.
“We know the pressure you are under but we need these services. It is clear from the audience they really love you being here and want you here.”