‘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.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 2:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 2:49 pm

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.

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Patients at Monument Surgeries in Pennywell have reacted to the possibility that it may close due to staff issues.

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.

Marlene Stephenson said it would be awful if the surgery was to close.

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.

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"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 highlighted that the surgery was opened to help the local community.

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.”

Bev Bulmer highlighted that if it was to close, where would elderly and disabled people go?

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.

Mum Ingrid Clasper explained that the surgery was in a perfect location should she need to take her children during school hours.

"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.”

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Eric Stobbart was shocked to hear the news that the surgery might be closing.
Andrea Robertson highlighted that it is difficult to get an appointment at any doctors surgery.