1,000 signatures reached
To: NHS England
Save The Willows GP Surgery
On behalf of the 1,952 patients of The Willow Surgery we the undersigned call on NHS England, Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group and Brighton and Hove City Council to ensure that a GP service will continue to be provided at the Willows Surgery in Lower Bevendean, Brighton.
And that this will be an NHS GP service, not one provided by a private company who could surrender their contract at any time !
Why is this important?
The Practice Group plc (a private company) has been running The Willows Surgery in Lower Bevendean along with four other GP surgeries in Brighton and Hove. At the beginning of this year they announced that they would no longer be running their Brighton and Hove surgeries after June (this already follows the closure of two of the city's GP surgeries last year). This announcement has left a huge hole and The Willows is now threatened with closure.
Lower Bevendean is in a somewhat isolated area on the outskirts of Brighton. It is an area of mostly low income households and is made up of largely council and ex-council housing. The surgery has just under 2,000 patients and all have been feeling extremely anxious since the news. No-one wants to see their GP surgery close down! If The Willows were to close patients would have to travel outside their local area to see a doctor. The nearest GP to Lower Bevendean would be a long trek up and down a hilly area and as a large number of The Willows patients are elderly or disabled or in poor health they would not be able to manage the extra travel to see a Doctor. Even if travelling wasn't a problem, the nearest GP surgery simply has not got the capacity to take on an extra 2,000 patients. So realistically patients would have to travel a lot further to register with a new GP. As there seems to be no 'highest priority' scheme in place, the elderly and the less able bodied will be the last in the race to find a new GP and will find themselves having to travel the furthest.
We've heard reports of elderly patients in tears as they are so worried about what will happen if their doctor disappears from their community. The less frail residents are angry. Why must they travel across the city to see a doctor? How is it possible that an NHS GP will vanish from the neighbourhood because the private company who were running the surgery decided that they wanted to earn more profit from us?
In order to keep our NHS public we need to fight the 'behind our backs' privatisation of our health services! We need to make sure that our health service is about people and not profits! The community in Lower Bevendean need your support in their fight to stop the closure of The Willows GP Surgery.
The community of Lower Bevendean needs to have local access to a GP and they require NHS England, along with Brighton and Hove CCG to ensure that a GP service will continue at the Willows Surgery !