CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save their surgery from closure have been given a glimmer of hope.
After a 3,500-signature petition, patients managed to delay plans to shut the Locks Road Surgery – known locally as Doctor’s Corner – in Locks Heath, and move it to Whiteley.
Now NHS Hampshire has announced it will be carrying out a complete review of all NHS buildings in the local area, which will be completed by August.
It is looking at the current standard of the buildings, any investment that may be needed, occupancy levels and the potential for future development.
Once complete, NHS Hampshire said it will consider all potential options for providing GP services in the Locks Heath area.
Martin Reeve, of the Doctor’s Corner patients’ group, said: ‘We are naturally pleased that the NHS has eventually stirred.
‘However, it might have been more reassuring if they had taken us seriously back in February when we asked to present the petition against closure, representing 57 per cent of patients.
‘As the Doctor’s Corner patient group committee has since been formally elected by patients to represent them we look forward to NHS Hampshire working in a professional manner with us to help resolve the problems that the proposed closure has and will cause.’
If the surgery closes, patients can transfer to its partner surgery in Whiteley – but that is a seven-mile round trip.
Dr Stuart Ward, medical director for NHS Hampshire, said: ‘Many patients have raised concerns including the distance and ability to travel to Whiteley and the availability of suitable alternative services if they do not want to travel to the main surgery.
‘We have agreed with the practice that NHS Hampshire has deferred making a decision on the closure until we have worked together with patients and local practices to explore the availability and feasibility of all options for providing GP services in the Locks Heath area.’
Services will continue at both sites until a final decision is made.