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Bill Esterson MP responds to Hightown Surgery threats

/>Hightown surgery is a vital part of our NHS. Patients living in Hightown depend on the surgery and for the many older residents, it would be a real blow if the surgery were to close. Good quality medical care should be available near to where we live. It is not just a matter of convenience to have a surgery locally, it is a necessity.

I would like to thank the very many people who have written to me about the surgery and about their concerns. Thank you also to everyone who has contacted NHS England. I have raised these concerns with NHS England a number of times, as have the borough and parish councillors. The reality is that the government has cut our NHS and social care. They have not addressed the shortage of GPs, which is a problem across the country. It is therefore no surprise that we face challenges in the NHS, like those we see in Hightown.

 

I had been told by NHS England that Hightown surgery would be kept open, so it came as a real surprise for me as it did for residents in Hightown when a notice was posted on the surgery door about the future
of the surgery.

I immediately contacted NHS property services who assured me again that GP care would continue as normal, the matter was of a high priority and that patients were of top priority. The new lease signing
had been delayed due to a dispute of price with the landlord. I therefore requested to be kept updated.

I was then told by NHS England that the surgery did have a scheduled review at the end of August, and that for the review all options were being considered. According to NHS England, this included a
recommission, implementing more services, to disperse the patient list to other surgeries and to merge the practice with another.

The fact that NHS England was considering dispersing the patient list was of great surprise to me given that I had been told the surgery's future was secure. I will therefore continue to oppose any dispersing of patient list or surgery merger; and have requested to be kept informed of any decision made. I have also requested more details concerning the dispute over the lease price.

The delay in securing the new lease at Hightown surgery is simply not acceptable. It is time for NHS England to finalise the arrangements and put the people who depend on the surgery first.

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