NHS apology for ‘anxiety’ caused by surgery closure

Shankill Surgery, Fairlight Road, Ore SUS-171025-150815001
Shankill Surgery, Fairlight Road, Ore SUS-171025-150815001

The NHS team overseeing the changes at GP surgeries in Hastings has apologised to patients feeling ‘anxiety and confusion’ following the closure of Shankill Surgery.

This week NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) confirmed Shankill Surgery, one of four surgeries previously run by the Cornwallis Plaza GP practice, had closed its doors on November 1. Responsibility for its patients’ care has been transferred to either Beaconsfield Road Surgery or The Station Practice.

According to the CCG, the closure came after Harold Road Surgery – the practice initially asked to take over Shankill – decided it was unable support a new cohort of patients at this time.

A CCG spokesman said: “The CCG has worked extremely closely with local GP practices throughout the complex re-allocation process to obtain assurances that these practices have the capacity to provide the levels of service and quality required for the patients they will be receiving. We apologise unreservedly for any inconvenience, anxiety or confusion caused but we are committed to ensuring that all patients previously registered with Cornwallis Plaza have continued access to safe, high-quality care.”

The CCG had originally said it planned to keep Shankill open alongside two of the other surgeries previously run by the GP practice – namely Little Ridge and Cornwallis Plaza. Essenden Road Surgery, the fourth surgery run by the GP practice, has been closed since June 8 this year but is expected to re-open once it is taken on by High Glades Medical Centre.

The CCG says it expects the closure of Shankill to be temporary and says it is in discussions with East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust about its future use.

Asked if there was the potential for job losses as a result of the surgery closure and the wider shake-up, a CCG spokesman said: “Every effort is being made to try and ensure members of staff are redeployed wherever possible, and to mitigate and minimise the impact of these changes on patients and staff alike.”