Plans revealed for GP surgeries - with closures on the cards

Plans to close, expand or even build new surgeries have been revealed by a GP practice.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 4:45 pm
Skerne Medical Group practice in Trimdon Village. Picture c/o Google

Skerne Medical Group (SMG), which runs clinics in Sedgefield, Fishburn and Trimdon Colliery is due to begin its latest round of consultation on its future.

Over the course of seven public meetings, patients will have the chance to give their views on the proposals, which bosses have insisted are needed to guarantee the ‘long-term viability of the practice’.

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The options put forward include:

Close down all surgeries and move to a single base at Sedgefield Community Hospital Close down all surgeries and move to a new purpose-built surgery in Trimdon Village, expected to cost about £3.57m Extend current surgery at Harbinson House, in Sedgefield; build a new surgery in Trimdon Village, expected to cost about £2.2m, and close surgeries in Fishburn and Trimdon Colliery Extend current surgeries at Harbinson House, in Sedgefield, and Trimdon Colliery, but close surgery in Fishburn Keep the three existing surgeries open, but expand clinic at Harbinson House, in Sedgefield

Last year (2018) care chiefs from County Durham’s two Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) agreed to back plans for the practice to shut down its surgery in Trimdon Village, but rejected an application to axe its surgery in Fishburn.

SMG, which has about 15,000 patients on its books, has previously blamed recruitment and staffing pressures for its desire to close clinics and claimed job candidates have been put off by the prospect of working across multiple sites.

Practice bosses are due to update members of Durham County Council’s Adults, Wellbeing and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the proposals at a meeting on July 4.

It’s public consultation is due to end on August 22, with a report on its findings expected to be ready for the meeting of the Primary Care Committee of the North Durham CCG and Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield (DDES) CCG on September 19.