A campaign has been launched to stop this Leeds GP surgery from closing down

A campaigner who wants to save Adel Surgery said closing the building would be "utter madness".
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Francis Garbutt, 68, said scrapping the Long Causeway surgery would leave people in the area out of pocket as they will have to travel further, by taxi or bus, to see a doctor.

Bosses at Alwoodley Medical Centre have applied to the Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to close the branch surgery as they say it is "not fit for purpose".

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Patients would be transferred over to Alwoodley Medical Centre, two miles away in Saxon Mount, which opened in March 2016 in a brand new building.

Francis Garbutt.Francis Garbutt.
Francis Garbutt.

Mr Garbutt, a former NHS transport manager, has set up Save Adel Surgery From Closure in a bid to save the service.

Leeds north-east MP Alex Sobel has called on the CCG to disallow the closure.

A survey asking people for their views on the proposal is running until Sunday, April 5, but Mr Garbutt thinks he is facing an uphill battle.

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"It's sad as it looks like the end of an era, but they do say that miracles sometimes happen," he said.

"There is a sheltered housing complex nearby and they rely on their local surgery. If it goes there will not be a doctors surgery within walking distance."

Alwoodley Medical Practice has 15,055 registered patients, with the Adel site currently serving a registered population of around 2500 patients, according to a consultation document.

Almost 57,000 patients used Alwoodley the last 12 months, while just 5,500 opted to visit Adel.

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There has been no growth in numbers over the past three years and the surgery struggles to fill appointments.

The document states the move would enable an increase in the number of appointments at Alwoodley.

"Adel Surgery is not fit for the purpose of delivering modern, high quality healthcare and is in need of substantial investment, with a particular need to bring it up to the standards needed to support those with a disability," the document adds.

Adel is closed for two half days during the week, while Alwoodley is open much more often.

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But Mr Garbutt said the surgery meant a lot to locals and said he was concerned Alwoodley would not be able to cope with the increased demand.

"I think it is just utter madness," he added. "Why do we still have to wait three weeks when we want to get an appointment?

"Yes, the facilities at Adel are old-fashioned, but they should have thought about that a few years ago."

He also fears the adjacent pharmacy will suffer knock-on effects.

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Mr Sobel said in a statement that he had handed a 700-strong petition to the CCG opposing the closure.

"Whilst this is an important factor when it comes to expressing the strength of feeling in the community, it is only by engaging fully with the consultation process that the voice of the community will be heard," he added.

"I will continue to do my bit to ensure that the voices of patients are heard. I urge all residents and patients who are worried about this to make clear their concerns through the consultation process."

Two public meetings are also being held for people to give their views:

Wednesday, March 25, 6pm-7pm at Alwoodley Medical Centre.

Thursday, April 2, 2pm-3pm in The Alwoodley Room, Conference Complex, Weetwood Hall.