East Leeds: Fight continues to reopen Garforth Clinic

HIGH PROFILE: Campaigners outside the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust offices in Headingley.
HIGH PROFILE: Campaigners outside the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust offices in Headingley.
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CAMPAIGNERS showed they have no intention of going away quietly as they continued their fight to secure the reopening of Garforth Clinic.

Nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust to reverse its decision to close the clinic.

And when local councillor Mark Dobson (Lab, Garforth & Swillington) headed to the trust’s offices in Headingley to hand over the petition, he was accompanied by an eye-catching delegation of supporters wearing campaign T-shirts and waving placards.

Coun Dobson said: “It was a heartening sight and I think no one was left in any doubt about the strength of feeling that exists on this issue.”

Coun Dobson also said he was pleased to have received an assurance from the trust that the clinic building would not be sold or demolished until the points raised by the campaign had been fully worked through. As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the clinic closed its doors around the end of January. The trust has said patients will be able to access the same services at clinics in places such as Kippax, Halton and Seacroft.

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

There was also dismay last month when the trust and the NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group both turned down invitations to attend a public meeting at Garforth Miners’ Welfare Hall.

The event had been billed as a chance for questions regarding the closure of the clinic to be put to NHS decision-makers.

Both groups said they had opted not to attend because the meeting had fallen during the run-up to Leeds’s council elections. They also said that they would be happy to send representatives to events organised after the election period.

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