‘It will be awful if it closes’ – Patients react as Sunderland surgery with 2,700 patients could close due to lack of permanent GPs
Patients at Monument Surgeries in Pennywell have expressed their disappointment at the possibility that it could close due to staffing issues.
Health chiefs revealed on Wednesday, September 29, that despite efforts over the last five years to recruit GPs to Pennywell, Monument Surgeries has continued to experience difficulties.
As a result of the staffing problems, bosses are looking at the long-term sustainability of the branch and admitted it may close.
Before any final decisions are made, around 2,700 patients who are currently registered at Monument Surgeries in Pennywell are being contacted directly for their views and feedback on how they might be affected by any service changes before any final decisions are made.
Andrea Robertson was at the surgery with her daughter on Thursday, September 30 – she highlighted that the accessibility to the surgery would be something she’d miss if it did close.
She said: “It will be disappointing if it does close because it is really handy for me as I just live around the corner so it is really accessible.
"It has been hard getting an appointment recently but that is the same for all doctors, people are struggling to get appointments everywhere.”
Accessibility was also an issue for mum Ingrid Clasper, especially for her children.
The 51-year-old commented: “I’m not happy about it as it is the only doctors near to me and sometimes I need to take my child out of school to go.
"His school is only around the corner so if I’ve got to travel for a doctors, it could have an impact on the amount of school that he is missing.”
Others were concerned about elderly people in the local community having to travel further than needed to access a doctors surgery.
Dorothy Laws, 63, from Pennywell said: “It was put there to help the local community, especially given there is a lot of older people around here.
"I’m shocked to hear about the problems that they are having, it is a shame because it could be off putting for patients.”
Marlene Stephenson from Pennywell added: “There are a lot of old people who use it it would be a shame if it does close.
"It is hard to get an appointment but it will be awful if it closes, it is in a really handy place for people who can’t get about.”
The 62-year-old said: “I’m a local resident so to find another doctors it would either be South Hylton or Broadway Clincial Practice so it would have an impact.
"Most of the patients here are local people so where would they go? Where will the old people or people with disabilities go?”
Some patients, such as Eric Stobbart, had just found out about the news upon visiting the surgery.
He said: “I’ve literally just heard about it so I’m shocked, I haven’t even been with them for long.
"I think I’ve only ever been three times and never had an issue with them.
"It is really handy for me, it is only 10 minutes around the corner from where I live so I can walk to it if necessary.”