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GP in blast at care trust
3:53pm Tuesday 19th February 2013 in Local
A DUDLEY GP has criticised the borough’s PCT for not providing the best care to his patients.
Dr Richard Bramble was speaking as he announced the closure of Kates Hill Surgery on March 28, just three years since it opened.
The Wolverton Road surgery was set up to much fanfare in 2010 to serve the St Thomas’s ward in a new initiative by St Thomas's Partnership Limited – a partnership formed with Primecare and Dudley GP Dr PD Gupta.
But is being closed down because of a lack of footfall under the terms of its contract – as it needed to attract 100 new patients a month, but was only averaging 50.
Speaking at the Castle and Priory, St Thomas and St James community forum, held at St Thomas’s Network, Dr Bramble, said: “We are closing down due to contractual arrangements.
“But my feeling is that the patients we have been serving, some 1,500 mostly in the St Thomas’s ward, are not being given the best care by the PCT.
“We are providing the highest quality of service in Dudley, but our patients are being asked to disperse to other surgeries.
“A lot are unhappy about that and we’ve been told there is nothing we can do about it.
“I hope the patients will be dispersed correctly, but there is a real risk of the PCT not having given patients enough opportunity to relocate.
“I don’t know if there is anything that can be done, but I hope the council through the health scrutiny board has exerted the pressure that they should have for the benefit of residents locally.”
A spokesperson for the Black Country Cluster of Primary Care Trusts, said: “Despite the excellent services offered at the surgery, there have been lower numbers of patients registering with the practice than was expected when the contract was commissioned.
This means that it is no longer viable to continue running the service.
“We are working closely with the surgery team to make sure that all the patients currently registered with Kates Hill Surgery are supported to register with an alternative family doctor’s practice before the end of March.”
Ward councillor Steve Waltho, who is also the borough’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “I’m going to take this up with the scrutiny committee. I don’t think it is right.
“I am very, very disappointed about this news.
“This is unacceptable.”