Leeds surgery to close after NHS heads find issues

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A leeds GP surgery is set to close after NHS heads said they could not guarantee patients would be given effective care.

The move comes following a visit from a health watchdog which found Woodlands Surgery in Chapeltown was failing to meet five essential standards, including on welfare, cleanliness and the safety of equipment.

Dr Constance Hunter, the GP at the practice, has been prevented from seeing patients there by the General Medical Council (GMC) by conditions imposed earlier this year. Instead patients were being treated by locum doctors.

However when Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors visited last month, patients arriving for appointments were not able to see a GP at all as the booked locum had not turned up.

A report said NHS England had suspended its contract with the surgery and the watchdog found various issues.

Despite that, patients who inspectors spoke to said they were happy with their care and treatment.

Dr Hunter is subject to conditions on her registration, including that she must not give clinical advice at Woodlands Surgery.

Alison Knowles, director of commissioning for NHS England in West Yorkshire, said: “We took the decision to close Woodlands Surgery because it was not meeting the terms of its NHS contract and therefore it could not guarantee that patients were receiving the safe, effective and appropriate care that they can – and should - expect from their NHS.

“Our main priority is to ensure patients have access to high quality primary care services and the decision to revoke Woodlands’ contract was taken in their best interests.”

She said they had worked with another local GP practice to ensure patients were still seen.

Patients at the surgery have been encouraged to register with a new GP before December 6 when Woodlands will close. Anyone who does not will be automatically allocated to a new practice.

Dr Hunter told the Yorkshire Evening Post she had been serving the community for many years.

“No patient has ever come to harm and there have been no complaints about treatment,” she said.

She added that she felt patients should have been consulted over the moves and added that patients did not want the practice to close.

FORWARD LEEDS: Pictured (left to right) Bill Owen, early intervention and prevention manager, and Ben Holden, early interention and prevention Worker.

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