CONCERNS have been raised on how GP surgeries will cope with extra patients as a practice has announced its closure.
Queen’s Road Surgery, in Portsmouth, will be shut by June 30 after failing to recruit a GP to replace one of its current doctors who will be working outside the city in the future.
Portsmouth cannot afford to lose any surgeries.Val Ralph
The changes leave the practice with one GP and a struggle to recruit or merge means it is now unsustainable.
More than 5,000 patients have been written to and told they need to register at other surgeries but should be prepared they might not get their first choice.
Commenting on The News Facebook page, people voiced concerns on how other practices will cope.
Paula Skyrme posted: ‘5,000 patients to find a new practice in already over-stretched practices. Not a lot of hope then,’ while Val Ralph added: ‘Portsmouth cannot afford to lose any surgeries.’
Ann Law wrote: ‘And then they wonder why people descend on the QA.
‘5,500 people is a huge number to put more pressure on other GP practices.’
Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has pledged patients will be provided with care until June 30 or until they register at another practice.
Katie Hovenden, director of primary care at the CCG, said: ‘The practice has taken the difficult decision to close.
‘We have explored several options to try to keep it open, including merging it with another practice or finding another practice or organisation to come in and take over the running of it.
‘Unfortunately, we have been unable to find an alternative practical solution.
‘Obviously this is far from ideal for the patients, and we do acknowledge the inconvenience and potential concern that this may cause.
‘The important thing is that patients now take steps to register at a new practice, to allow good time for the transfer of their notes and medical records.
‘Practices shouldn’t normally refuse to register a patient unless there are valid reasons but in this instance some practices may not have the capacity to safely take on large numbers of new patients.’
To register elsewhere, patients will need to go to the practice in person – although some practices do offer the ability to register online.
Ms Hovenden added: ‘We would ask patients to spare a thought for the staff for whom this is also an extremely unsettling period.’