Doubt over Wimblington Surgery while MP meets with health minister

Steve Barclay meets with health minister Jeremy Hunt
Steve Barclay meets with health minister Jeremy Hunt
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The future is unclear for a Fenland surgery after health chiefs refused to fund renovation costs.

Wimblington’s GP surgery closed its doors in March this year with the intention of being relocated into bigger and more suitable accommodation at North Witchford Lodge. Work to refurbish an area on the ground-floor at the premises is currently underway by Roddons Housing Association and patients are being treated at Doddington Medical Centre.

Fenland MP Steve Barclay is challenging NHS bosses over a decision which could permanently close Wimblington’s GP surgery in the same week as meeting Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt to discuss his Treat Me Local campaign.

Dr Simon Hambling, of Doddington Medical Centre, said: “The closure in March was always intended to be temporary and was done at the suggestion of NHS England because the previous premises were not fit for purpose.

“The aim was always to relocate the practice and we have agreed to use space at North Witchford Lodge to provide three consulting rooms. Patients have not kicked up a fuss because they knew it was a temporary arrangement.

“However, NHS England have now refused the business case to replace Wimblington surgery and will not be funding the rent costs, which are around £14,000. This will have a huge impact on Wimblington patients, especially the elderly and others who do not have transport.”

Mr Barclay says NHS England have not abided by its own processes over the closure of Wimblington.

He said: “This is an essential service for the people of Wimblington and it has implications for Doddington as it puts more pressure on the medical centre there.”

On Monday, Mr Barclay met with health minister Mr Hunt to discuss the Treat Me Local campaign.

The campaign, which has a wish-list of ten improvements to health services in Fenland, now has 1,200 signatures on a petition.

Mr Barclay said: “It is a significant boost for the Treat Me Local campaign to have the support of the Secretary of State. I hope it sends an important signal to health bosses of the need to respond to the wishes of local residents.

“The approach we are taking very much fits in with the strategic aims for the NHS, which is going to be shaped by grass roots pressure.”

Another point raised in the meeting included open data transparency sharing.

The next step in the campaign is a meeting between Mr Barclay and NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens.

Mr Barclay will be also holding a health summit with NHS representatives on Friday, November 14, at the South Fens Business Park Fenton Way in Chatteris.