‘Stranded’ patients will battle to save surgery

The Oxford Times: From left, Sue Srawley, Joyce Stone, Sue Dorrell, Molly Penn, Avryl French, Bob Wiggins and Wendy Rossiter From left, Sue Srawley, Joyce Stone, Sue Dorrell, Molly Penn, Avryl French, Bob Wiggins and Wendy Rossiter

ELDERLY residents will be “left stranded” by plans to shut Wootton Surgery, residents have warned.

Botley Medical Centre, in Elms Road wants to close its satellite branch, Wootton Surgery, near Abingdon, but has met with staunch opposition.

In August campaigners set up Wootton Surgery Supporters’ group and more than 600 people signed a petition against its closure.

The future of the surgery became doubtful when an NHS Oxfordshire building inspection branded the surgery building “unfit for practice” in April.

Wootton resident Sue Srawley, 54, said: “The plans have already caused an awful lot of distress to elderly people who think the surgery is definitely closing – that is the assumption.

“It really would leave them stranded; we have a high population of elderly people without transport.

“They can’t actually give one good reason why – we have simply been told it is not fit for purpose, but we have a new children’s centre only too happy to share facilities.”

The surgery in Besselsleigh Road supports more than 3,000 residents of Wootton and those in Boars Hill, Dry Sandford, and Cumnor.

It is currently open five hours a week, on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.

A public consultation opened on January 2 and runs until March 27.

A statement from Botley Medical Centre said the surgery was unsuitable because there is no disabled access or toilets, the heating system needs replacing, and there are “difficulties” sharing the computerised patient records But it would not answer questions asked by the Oxford Mail including how much the improvements would cost.

The surgery’s lease on the building expires in May.

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Last month the Oxford Mail reported that the campaign group Patient Voice wrote to NHS England to demand what they described as a lack of medical services in Botley be examined.

Botley Medical Centre currently has 3,784 patients while Wootton Surgery has 678. They are treated by five GPs.

Senior partner at Botley Medical Centre, John Chadwick, said the closure would mean they could extend the Botley centre.

Dr Chadwick said: “We are considering ways to provide better quality patient care to patients from Wootton.

“The service we provide at Wootton is expensive and under-used. We want to use our resources more wisely to better serve the majority of our patients.”

Residents can download a consultation questionnaire at botleymedicalcentre.co.uk

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