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Proposed closure of King's Cliffe Doctors' Surgery sparks concerns

Concerns have been expressed over a proposal to close a village doctors’ surgery.

In June last year, partners at Wansford and King’s Cliffe Practice put forward the idea to centralise healthcare into one location.

A consultation, which included a leaflet and questionnaire, was circulated to all houses in King’s Cliffe, Apethorpe, Blatherwycke, Bulwick and Woodnewton for residents to provide feedback.

King's Cliffe Doctors' Surgery. Photo: Google
King's Cliffe Doctors' Surgery. Photo: Google

A proposal has now been put forward to close the surgery in King’s Cliffe in the summer.

Coun Andrew Howard, chairman of King’s Cliffe Parish Council, said that he was surprised about the timing.

He said: “From a parish council and village point of view we were disappointed to learn that the doctors are planning on closing the surgery as we see it as an integral part of the village, particularly during these times.”

The parish council has launched a poll on the village Facebook page, King’s Cliffe Community, to find out how people feel about the plans and whether they fully understood the consultation. Depending on the results of the survey, Coun Howard said they will take the right course of action to represent the views of residents.

He said: “We want to work with the doctors who have provided a service in the village for many years to continue to see the provision of healthcare in the village - that’s the bottom line.

“Where we differ is that we would like to retain the surgery.”

Currently, the majority of the practice’s work is done remotely by phone or video link, which the GPs believe will continue in part after the pandemic.

Despite this, in the consultation, access to services and the prescription pick-up service were identified as key areas of concern.

Coun Howard said: “The main issue is accessibility to the doctors and I think it involves two of three groups.

“One is the elderly and those that generally haven’t got any form of mobility, particularly the disabled.

“A group most people forget about is younger members of the community. They may want to see a doctor and not want to involve family.”

The GPs say that possible solutions which are under discussion include plans to expand the volunteer driver team to help patients with mobility issues attend Wansford Surgery and the option of a prescription pick-up facility at King’s Cliffe Active.

Plans are also being made for the surgery to partner with the gym Active Performance to deliver a Proactive Care Agenda and to work with the King’s Cliffe Active to provide a mood café in the village.

The Partners of the Wansford and King’s Cliffe Practice, Rhiannon Nally, Amrit Takhar, Helen Eastwood, released a roadmap outlining their plans to close the practice in West Street.

They said: “Together with the community, it is our shared vision to provide innovative healthcare for King’s Cliffe and the surrounding villages which is responsive to the needs of the people in these communities, builds upon the significant changes in healthcare provision possible both with new communication methods and with new practice staff having specific healthcare skills and mitigates some of the irreversible implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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