Body blow for campaigners fighting to reopen Leeds medical clinic

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Campaigners have been dealt a savage blow in their fight to persuade health chiefs to reopen Garforth Clinic.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust closed the clinic at the start of this year.

Now trust chief executive Thea Stein has confirmed to the YEP that the site is “moving forward for sale”.

It was not yet clear whether money raised by a sale would go to the trust or the Department of Health, said Ms Stein.

Asked whether money from the sale would be spent specifically in Garforth, she said funds – if received – would be used by the trust to “implement our estate strategy for Leeds as a whole and to ensure the most equitable access to services for all the residents of the city”.

Calls for the clinic to reopen have been led by local councillors Mark Dobson and Sarah Field.

Coun Field said: “It would be a double body blow if the capital receipt from the sale of our clinic wasn’t used on a new facility locally.

Ms Stein talks of equitable access to services but there’s nothing equitable about closing a much-needed local clinic and spending the money raised elsewhere.”

NHS chiefs say Garforth Clinic’s former patients are able to access the same services in places such as Kippax, Halton and Seacroft.

But residents have worries over issues such as “inadequate” parking at Kippax and accessibility problems for people who rely on public transport.

The decision to shut Garforth Clinic followed a 12-week engagement period during which feedback was sought on the closure plan.

Nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for the reopening of the clinic.

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Daniel Brown.

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