Speak out over controversial closure of Leeds clinic

Coun Mark Dobson outside the now-closed clinic.

Coun Mark Dobson outside the now-closed clinic.

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People who feel they have been left isolated by the closure of Garforth Clinic are being urged to share their stories.

Coun Mark Dobson (Lab, Garforth & Swillington) held a recent meeting with health watchdog Healthwatch about the controversial decision to shut the clinic.

Healthwatch asked Coun Dobson to come back next month with examples of how the closure has affected people living in Garforth.

And today he said he wanted to hear as soon as possible from anyone who thinks their access to NHS services has suffered as a result of the clinic’s axing.

Coun Dobson, who met with Healthwatch on behalf of the Friends of Garforth Clinic campaign group, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We already have some clear examples of local provision failing residents but we need more. We want to put together a really strong dossier.

“Even if the clinic cannot reopen, I’m hoping Healthwatch will help us make a case for a reasonable standard of service being provided in other ways in Garforth.”

The Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust closed Garforth Clinic at the start of this year.

Trust bosses have argued that the site’s former users can access the same services in nearby places such as Kippax, Halton and Seacroft.

But some residents have voiced concern over issues like “inadequate” parking at Kippax and accessibility problems for patients who rely on public transport to get around.

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

Residents can e-mail case studies to mark.dobson@leeds.gov.uk or Coun Dobson’s ward colleague Coun Sarah Field at sarah.field@leeds.gov.uk.

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