Surgery to close under merger plans

A DOCTORS surgery in Sleights is going to close at the end of March if re-organisation plans are given the go-ahead.

Sandsend and Churchfield surgeries have applied to the Primary Care Trust (PCT) for permission to merge their practices resulting in the closure of a branch surgery.

A report on the proposals is going to be put before North Yorkshire County Council’s scrutiny of health committee later this week.

Under the plans Sandsend surgery at East Row and its smaller branch The Surgery at Coach Road, Sleights would merge with Churchfield surgery at Iburndale Lane, Sleights.

The changes would see the Churchfield practice which has 3, 590 patients become the main surgery, Sandsend East Row surgery become a branch and Coach Road close.

There are 1, 573 patients registered with Sandsend Surgery and the ones who attend Coach Road will be transferred if they wish.

If not there are alternatives at Whitby group practice, Egton and Staithes.

Four GPs along with nurses and healthcare assistants will cover both sites on a rota basis and according to the report the number of appointments available across both sites will remain the same if not increase however, appointments at Sandsend maybe reduced.

The report also says a practice merger has been investigated over the last few years and staff and other GP practices within the area are in agreement to the proposals.

The Whitby Gazette contacted both Churchfield and Sandsend practices but they were unavailable for comment.