MP asks residents to ‘keep up pressure’ to re-open Victoria Park Medical Centre, Bridgwater
Written by Bridgwater Mercury on August 16, 2021
A SOMERSET MP is urging resident to ‘keep up the pressure’ to ensure a medical centre re-opens as soon as possible.
Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, has said there has been a ‘huge wave of protest’ at the withdrawal of GP services from Victoria Park Medical Centre in Bridgwater.
Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) made the decision to close the medical centre last Wednesday (August 11), which is located in Victoria Park Community Centre.
They said they worked closely with staff at the practice to find a solution to the ongoing staff shortages, but did not manage to find one.
Mr Liddell-Grainger said it is ‘totally unacceptable’ to close the centre and just ‘walk away’ from the staff shortages problem.
“Local people feel extremely let down by the CCG and I fully understand their anger,” he said.
“The Victoria Park centre was built with public money in response to a very clear public need and it has become a much-valued community asset.
“It is just not good enough for the CCG to declare that there are staffing issues and do nothing further.
“I know there are staff shortages wherever one looks within the NHS but Bridgwater is not exactly the back of beyond and I fail to see why the appropriate staff cannot be attracted to work at the centre – unless it is down to a lack of effort.
“I congratulate everyone who has spoken out against this closure and demanded that it be no more than a temporary one.
“We must all work together to ensure that a full GP service is restored as soon as possible.”
He is also concerned that unless the centre is quickly re-opened, the pharmacy at the complex would also be lost.
However, Somerset CCG has said the Jhoots pharmacy will remain open.
“This is not a decision that has been taken lightly, and our priority continues to be the safety of our patients and to ensure that people can continue to access local healthcare services when needed,” said a spokesperson for Somerset CCG.
“We understand that this will be an anxious time for many local residents and would like to reassure registered patients that we are doing everything we can to support. Patients registered with the practice will be re-registered with another.”
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