Village surgery closure a 'prescription for disaster'


Rebecca Cole

A MOBILE clinic deemed “vital” to the elderly and disabled is certain to close.
That is the belief of Weston Rhyn parish councillors following a meeting with health bosses over the controversial proposal to end sessions held by the Chirk doctors’ surgery at The Institute in the village amid claims the building is no longer fit for purpose.
The plan, which could come into effect next month, has upset many elderly and less mobile residents in the village who will now struggle to access medical help due to poor transport links between the village and Chirk.
Members asked for more time while they looked at possible strategies to maintain the service such as finding another location.
But according to campaigner and councillor Angela Bright, their pleas fell on deaf ears.

She said: “We talked to them but you could tell they had no intention of keeping it going.
“We put all sorts of suggestions to them but they seemed to come up with a reason why not for everything.
“They obviously think the money would be better spent at the Chirk surgery,” she added.
The clinic currently visits the Bronygarth Road hall twice a week and, according to Cllr Bright, brings in as many as 30 patients.
A public meeting held in December attracted a substantial number of residents calling for the service, which has been available in the village for approximately 50 years, to be safeguarded.
Cllr Bright also criticised the method the surgery used to announce the potential closure; a poster attached to the wall.
“We should have been informed as a parish council on behalf of the whole community rather than just surprising us with a poster.”
But she did welcome plans for a number of disabled parking bays to be set aside in the staff car park at the new surgery, due to open in the coming months on land off Colliery Road, Chirk, and revealed health bosses were considering amending the repeat prescription service to help those who will struggle to visit the surgery in person.
“But they have to expect to be called out to home visits more often for the people who could have made it to the Institute but can’t get to Chirk,” she added.
“They’ve got to bend over backwards now to accommodate the people it’s going to affect,” she added.
Julie Webster, practice manager at Chirk Surgery, declined to comment but a spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) said: “The doctors at the Chirk surgery have met with representatives of the local community to explain and discuss the reasons for the proposed closure of the branch surgery in Weston Rhyn and offered reassurance that services will continue to be provided to local communities.
“The outcome of the meetings, patients’ comments and concerns, and the view of Healthwatch Shropshire will be considered by BCUHB before a final decision is made,” she added.

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