Surgery fight hots up
THE fight by patients to keep a doctor s surgery open was growing this week with signatures of those wanting to save it hitting the 1,000 mark. The Comet revealed the depth of public feeling in Sandy recently when the Heartlands Primary Care Trust (PCT) a
THE fight by patients to keep a doctor's surgery open was growing this week with signatures of those wanting to save it hitting the 1,000 mark.
The Comet revealed the depth of public feeling in Sandy recently when the Heartlands Primary Care Trust (PCT) announced it wanted to close the late Dr Reddy's surgery.
Dr Reddy, who died suddenly in February aged just 55, had run the surgery on his own in St Neots Road since 1992 and had 2,800 patients on his books.
Patients immediately launched a campaign to save the surgery despite the PCT saying the best option was to close the surgery and disperse Dr Reddy's patients to the two other practices in Sandy.
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This week MP for North East Beds Alistair Burt joined the protest saying: "Many of Dr Reddy's patients have contacted me with their concerns that the surgery might close.
"Chief executive Ann Walker's office at the PCT has assured me they are looking for a local solution. I am confident their first concern is to keep the surgery open and I hope this will remain their long term aim as the facility is very important for Sandy residents."
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This week staff at the surgery remained concerned the PCT may not listen to public opinion and go ahead and close it.
Surgery manager Gerald Wells said: "We are hearing conflicting stories at the moment but a representative from the PCT came here last week and we got the impression closure was an option being considered.
"The PCT has a meeting on May 24 when two business plans will be considered from the two other surgeries in Sandy.
"The petition is now closed and we will present it to the PCT to show the public feeling about the possible closure of this surgery. If they close it now they could face bigger problems in years to come.
"Two years down the road they could face having to open a third surgery again. Sandy is a growing town and in the future will almost certainly need three surgeries.
"The PCT should listen to us and what the local people want."
Ken Lynch, chairman of Biggleswade and District Pensioners' Association, said: "If the PCT try and close the surgery we will appeal and demand a public inquiry. This is going to be a tough battle. We are determined it will stay open."
A spokesman for Heartlands PCT said: "A panel will meet on May 24 and look at all the options that have been put forward. The panel's recommendation will be considered by the PCT board the following day and make a decision or look at further considerations.