More than 1,300 residents sign petition against closures of two Portsmouth surgeries
MORE than 1,300 concerned residents have vowed to fight against the closure of two doctors' surgeries that will affect around 14,000 patients in Portsmouth.
A petition calling on partners of the Hanway Medical Practice, which operates sites in Hanway Road in Buckland and Stubbington Avenue in North End, to consider alternative options will be heard at a Portsmouth City Council meeting on Tuesday.
Current proposals for the surgeries include merging with the Portsdown Group Practice following the retirement of two senior GPs.
Around 1,350 members of the public have signed the petition that was led by Portsmouth-based Lalys Pharmacy.
A spokesman for Lalys Pharmacy said: 'We are not opposing to the merger and we have no objection to the Portsdown Group. But the closure of these practices without so much as a trial period is wrong.
'The nearest surgery would be half a mile away, which doesn't seem like a lot to some people but some of those 14,000 patients have already been transferred from other surgeries meaning it's even further from where they live.
'Also others won't be able to afford taxis, walk that extra distance or might not have access to public transport.'
Representatives of Charles Dickens ward, where the Hanway Road Surgery is based, supported the petition.
Councillor Claire Udy said: 'I am fully supportive. It already feels like a done deal with their current plans and there are certainly other options that they aren't looking into.
'I want patients to have good quality access to GPs without having to be moved around the city.'
Councillor and Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan agreed. 'Access to our NHS is a right,' he said.
'It is unacceptable that these practices are set to close.'
Innes Richens, from the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), commented: 'We are aware that the practices are currently engaging with their patients to gather feedback about those plans.
'Once that process is complete the practices will prepare a final proposal for submission to the CCG. We expect to receive that proposal within the next month or so, and then it is our task to consider whether or not it should be approved.'