Royal Wootton Bassett surgery tells patients they have to leave
2:00pm Thursday 16th January 2014 in By Anne Moore
Lyneham patients registered at a Royal Wootton Bassett surgery are outraged at being asking to move elsewhere to help staff struggling with patient numbers.
The patients registered at New Court Surgery, Borough Fields, have been asked to find somewhere else in a letter written by partners at the surgery and sent on January 2.
They have been given 30 days to make alternative arrangements and during this time they will still be able to see a doctor at the surgery, but home visits will not be provided.
There is no doctor’s surgery in Lyneham itself and most people in the area are outside a catchment area for a GP, meaning they rely on services in Royal Wootton Bassett or Calne.
Partners at the surgery said the change is due to a “massive expansion of houses” in Royal Wootton Bassett that has left them struggling to cope with numbers.
Although they applied to NHS England to close the surgery’s practice list, the government body refused this request and asked it to look at whether its patients lived within its catchment area.
Tanya Franks, 49, of Church End Close, has been registered with the surgery since moving to Lyneham in 2001 and said the letter had left her feeling unsupported and upset.
She has managed to transfer to the Tinkers Lane Surgery, also in Royal Wootton Bassett, but is worried this surgery will also suffer from rising patient numbers.
She said: “I’m not very happy. I suffer from anxiety and stress anyway and going somewhere different and having to sort this out has not been very good.
“Wiltshire Council didn’t look at the infrastructure of Wootton Bassett when they gave the go-ahead for those new houses and now it’s having an effect on the surrounding areas.
“It actually says at the bottom of the page that it’s final, you can’t appeal and they won’t be able to make exceptions.
“To be honest, I have taken it a bit personally.”
Allison Bucknell, Wiltshire councillor for Lyneham, said doctors should take care of the patients on their books first rather than make room for new ones.
She said: “I don’t think it’s a humane way to treat someone.
“It’s one thing to close your books but it’s another thing to effectively ask patients to leave. There is another surgery in Wootton Bassett and that actually has space still.”
The letter from the five partners at the surgery said: “We are now starting the process of asking those patients who live furthest away from us to register with an alternative practice who provide a service in the area where they currently live.
“It is with great regret we have to ask you to register elsewhere, and apologise for any upset or inconvenience this may cause you.”
A spokesman for NHS England said, following the concerns raised by patients, it has asked the practice to stop sending out the letters until the two organisations can get together for a further meeting.
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