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Proposal to close St Damian’s Surgery in Melksham at the end of March

December 27, 2019 9:28 AM

In November 2018 Bradford on Avon & Melksham Health Partnership (BoAMHP) submitted an application to Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (WCCG) to close St Damian's Branch Surgery in Melksham. Following consultation the application was rejected by the CCG in January 2019.

BoAMHP are now having another go. Here's what they say:

Since January 2019 we have shortened the opening hours of the St Damian's branch Surgery to provide appropriate clinical and administration hours to Bradford on Avon Health Centre. Since April 2019 registrations and repeat prescriptions are managed by the Bradford on Avon Health Centre or by the patients themselves online. Currently, St Damian's is open 8:30-12:30 Monday-Friday and provides only routine doctor and nurse appointments. All emergency care is provided from our Bradford on Avon Health Centre where GPs who currently work at St Damian's Surgery are available to maintain continuity to our Melksham patients. There has been no change to our home visit provision. As a result of these changes we have seen 20 % of our patients move to the other 2 GP Practices in Melksham. An increasing number of our Melksham patients are choosing to visit Bradford on Avon for their routine care. A further reduction to the opening hours is likely in mid-January 2020.

Dr Janice Patrick, Senior Partner at Bradford on Avon and Melksham Health Partnership said: "This has been a very difficult decision for us to take. Over the past year we have put a lot of measures in place to try and maintain the surgery at St Damian's, but we find ourselves in a position where we cannot continue to provide a service in Melksham with the resources we have available to us. BoAMHP is keen to continue to provide services to as many of the St Damian's registered patients as wish to stay with their current GP, however as we do with our Winsley branch surgery patients, they will be asked to travel to Bradford on Avon to receive urgent on the day care as well as our full range of services. Home visits to those patients who are eligible will not be affected, however lack of transport is not a valid reason for a home visit. Those patients unable to travel to Bradford on Avon will not be left without a GP, they should consider registering with one of the other 2 local Melksham GP practices."

In the last 12 months, Bradford on Avon & Melksham Health Partnership, have been working closely with our colleagues at Giffords Surgery and SPA Medical Centre in the newly formed Melksham & Bradford on Avon Primary Care Network (PCN), expanding on the previous work we had started as a locality. As a Primary Care Network, we will be delivering some aspects of care at scale in the years to come via the PCN, which covers a population across both towns of c.46,800 patients. A wonderful example of working scale across the PCN is the Leg Ulcer Clinics and social café, which take place at Spencer's Sports & Social Club, Melksham on a Thursday and St Margaret's Hall, Bradford on Avon on a Monday. Patients from all 3 practices are seen during these clinics, by Bradford on Avon & Melksham staff, who deliver fantastic clinical outcomes to patients across the Melksham and Bradford on Avon area. Our proposal to close St Damian's, if successful, would not result in a change to this service run from Spencer's Sports & Social Club.

Patients who would like further information about the proposed closure should complete the online questionnaire on the practice website or visit one of the 4 sites where they will be able to obtain, fill and return the proposed closure consultation questionnaire.