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Fears for Accrington GP practice
A REVIEW into an Accrington GP practice has sparked fears for its future.
The practice’s 1,700 patients have been sent a questionnaire by NHS England, which said it is routinely reviewing the service.
But the centre’s Patient Participation Group has accused the body of ‘indecent haste’ by setting a deadline of just a few weeks for responses, and said it would fight any plans to close the practice, based at Accrington Victoria Hospital.
Spokesman Patrick McGinley said: “We have been made aware of a decision by the local area team of NHS England to suddenly review the contract for our GP surgery.
“Owing to the indecent haste involved, together with other known factors, all parties – including doctors, nurses, admin staff, and our group -– have been led to the inescapable conclusion there is a definite intention to close our surgery.”
East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (ELCCG) has launched a consultation on primary care in Hyndburn, warning that financial pressures mean some services may have to be cut.
Accrington’s walk-in centre appears most at risk, as it was overspent by £1million last year, and ELCCG is hoping to make a decision this spring.
Coun Clare Pritchard, deputy leader of Hyndburn Council, has led the fight against proposed cuts to health services in the borough.
She said: “I will be standing alongside the Patient Participation Group to fight any proposals to take the GP practice out of Accrington.”
Hyndburn Tory group leader Coun Peter Britcliffe has also pledged his support to the campaign.
A spokesman from NHS England Lancashire area team said: ‘NHS England regularly reviews contracts we have in place for services that we commission, including GP services.
“The current contract for GP services at this practice is scheduled to end on October 31.
“In advance of this, and as standard procedure, we are reviewing the contract and looking at how best to continue providing GP services for people in the local area moving forward. No decision has been made about what will happen.”
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