Whitchurch Community Hospital is to become the new home for GP services for around 3,800 of the town’s patients.
The hospital will be location of a caretaker service that will open when the Richmond House Surgery in Station Road closes at the end of October.
It means Richmond House patients will be able to access GP services as close as possible to the current surgery. The new GP service, which is expected to be in place for 18 months, will open at the hospital in Claypit Street from November 1. The decision has been reached by Shropshire CCG who will commission the service for patients and Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust (Shropcom) who own and operate the hospital.
Dr Julian Povey, Shropshire CCG’s Clinical Chair said: “We are delighted that we have now reached an agreement and can let people in the community known that their GP services will be located at the community hospital.
“The hospital is at the heart of the town and only a few hundred metres from Station Road. It will provide adequate accommodation and make the best use of NHS resources in Whitchurch.”
More details about the service will be made available in October.
Dr Povey added: “We know from numerous conversations with patients that there has been a growing level of anxiety about the closure of Richmond House. I would like to thank all patients for their patience and understanding.
“By announcing that the hospital will be the location of the Caretaker GP service we are hoping that it will ease some of those anxieties.”
Christine Morris, the CCG’s Director for Primary Care & Quality said: “We know how important this issue is to the people of Whitchurch. We hope that they will acknowledge this is positive news. Although we cannot announce full details of the new service yet we can confirm that discussions are at an advanced stage and we will make a further announcement as soon as we possibly can.”
GPs from the town’s other two practices, Dodington Surgery and Bridgewater Medical Practice, are urging patients throughout Whitchurch to stand-by the process.
In a joint statement they said: “We have every confidence in the CCG to appoint a new provider and we ask patients to remain loyal to Richmond House Surgery until an announcement is made in early October.”
Jan Ditheridge, Chief Executive at Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, said: “We are pleased that we could provide this space and we now look forward to working even more closely with our GP colleagues. This is great news for the GPs, for us and most importantly for the patients.”