Have your say over surgery closure

PUBLISHED: 12:32 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:31 06 May 2010

Gerald Wells with an earlier petition calling for the surgery to stay open

Gerald Wells with an earlier petition calling for the surgery to stay open

CAMPAIGNERS trying to save a doctor s surgery from closure will have the chance to air their views at a public meeting next week. It is the first time the supporters of the threatened surgery in St Neots Road, Sandy, have had the chance to voice their rea

CAMPAIGNERS trying to save a doctor's surgery from closure will have the chance to air their views at a public meeting next week.

It is the first time the supporters of the threatened surgery in St Neots Road, Sandy, have had the chance to voice their reasons why they want to keep the surgery open.

The meeting has been organised by the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Forum of Bedfordshire Heartlands NHS Trust at Sandy Village Hall in Engayne Avenue between 2pm and 5pm on Monday.

The trust says it wants to get a first hand picture of the public feeling about the surgery, which came under threat following the sudden death of Dr Kris Reddy in February, before any decision on its future is taken.

After Dr Reddy's death, the trust hinted it would close the surgery and share its 2,700 patients with the two other surgeries in Sandy.

But after the reaction from patients, 1,700 of whom had signed a petition for the surgery to remain open, the trust sought business plans from doctors wanting to take the Sandy practice on.

Many patients were angry with the trust when Dr Raypreet Bhati, the current senior doctor at the surgery, did not have her business plan considered with the trust saying it had been submitted too late.

When the trust failed to find a suitable doctor to take on the surgery they began a nationwide search even though Dr Bhati has submitted her plan again and has overwhelming support from patients.

This week all the late Dr Reddy's patients received a letter from the trust's deputy director Carol Madden informing them of the public meeting.

"We have received 23 expressions of interest from a wide variety of potential providers and have sent out 23 tender packs," says Mrs Madden in her letter.

"The panel meeting to assess the tenders will take place on August 16. The forum will be representing patient views on the panel assessing the tenders and have undertaken to collate all views expressed before the panel meeting."

Gerald Wells, the St Neots Road surgery manager, said: "This surgery has a vital place to play in the health care of people in Sandy. Public feeling is still running high and as many patients as possible should go along to the meeting next week.


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