Cllr Jon Hubbard

Wiltshire Councillor for Melksham South

Serving the community across Melksham

Cllr Jon Hubbard

Wiltshire and Town Councillor for Melksham South

Working hard across the Melksham Community

Entrance to St Damien's Surgery in Melksham

Cllr Jon Hubbard has written to NHS Wiltshire CCG expressing concern about the proposal to close St Damien's Surgery in Melksham.

Jon has said that if additional capacity is not provided in the town's other two surgeries then there will be a serious shortage of doctors and nurses to serve the town's rapidly expanding population.

The full text of Jon's submission is shown below.


Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing with regard to the proposed closure of St Damien’s Surgery in Melksham.

I fully appreciate that there are a number of challenges for medical practices in the current climate, no least the difficulty in recruiting and retaining suitable qualified practitioners.

However, I am extremely concerned that the closure of this facility will have an adverse impact on the community I represent and hope that you will be able to advise and reassure me about the following points.

Should the closure of St Damien’s be approved what steps will be taken to support the remaining practice’s in the town to recruit additional Doctors, Nurse Practitioners and Practice Nurses?

In all honesty, I am more concerned about the number of practitioners in the town and not the identity of the surgery that they work for. Melksham has seen a phenomenal increase in housing over the past few years, and significant numbers of new housing are still being delivered.

If we see the withdrawal of the services offered by St Damien’s can you reassure me, and those people who I represent, that the remaining surgeries are capable of taking on not only the patients registered with St Damien’s but also those from the increased demand led by housing developments?

One of the most common complaints that I receive from residents in Melksham, and yes, I hear more about this than I do potholes, is the waiting time to see a doctor at Spa Medical Centre. With Giffords offering a different system for appointments the issues raised about them relates more to the difficulties of not knowing until the day when an appointment would be offered.

These issues are not the blame of any of the three surgeries on the town, they are the result of the massive increase in population that we have seen in recent years, together with ever increasing pressures and requirements of the Health and Social Care system.

I fail to see how the closure of St Damien’s, together with the pressure of new development, will do anything other than exacerbate this issue unless significant additional GP/Nurse resource is made available in the town.

The point has also been made to me that the letter distributed to residents registered with St Damien’s Surgery states “St Damian’s patients who want to continue to see a GP in Melksham would have to register with another practice, either Gifford’s Surgery or Spa Medical Centre”. Unfortunately, the Spa Medical Centre website currently states that the CCG have specifically asked them “NOT to accept any new registrations from St Damien’s patients at this stage”.

This has caused confusion and concern for some residents who expressed concern that they will end up not being able to register with a local practice.

I would greatly appreciate the points I have raised being carefully considered as you reach any conclusions over how to deal with the proposal that has been made and would be more than happy to discuss this with you further should you desire. In any event, I look forward to hearing from you with some feedback on the points I have raised so that I can feed back to residents in my community.

With kindest regards

 

Cllr Jon Hubbard
Wiltshire Councillor for Melksham South
Melksham Town Councillor for Melksham South

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