The clinic on Framwellgate Moor Front street is to close (not to be confused with Dunelm Medical Centre).
I have found out this just in the last few days, after the announcement over a year ago that it was under threat, which at the time was also uncovered by us, not through any official announcement.
Again we have found out by accident. The lease is not to be renewed and services will be shift out to other areas over the next three months.
This quite clearly goes against the NHS ethos of having services as close to patients as possible. It will also leave an empty property on the Front Street.
It also appears that there may not have been an attempt to renegotiate the lease on the property, so there is no chance that we will ever know if a better deal could have been obtained. Indeed we also do not know how much the repair clauses in the lease will hit the NHS to return the property to the state at the start of the lease.
All this suggests that there has not been full due diligence in considering whether or not this is indeed a financially sound decision to make, to say nothing of the impact on service users.
I do wonder what attempts were made to look at adding services to the Clinic to help make it more sustainable. I am deeply concerned as to what is likely to come next with local health services as many are being tendered out and are likely to end up in the private sector with the many risks associated with such action.
Whilst what is going on cannot entirely be laid at the door of the government as this is local decision making I am certain that the impact of under investment by the current government in the NHS and social care services will have contributed to the decisions being made.
I am waiting for a response from the NHS but expect we will see a response in the press from them before anything emailed back to me.