Dossier highlights concerns over closure of east Leeds clinic

Coun Mark Dobson.
Coun Mark Dobson.
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A councillor has compiled a dossier highlighting the cases of people who say they have been left isolated by the closure of Garforth Clinic.

Coun Mark Dobson (Lab, Garforth & Swillington) made an appeal through the Yorkshire Evening Post last month for former users of the clinic to share any problems they have had as a result of its closure.

NHS chiefs have previously argued that people who used to attend the clinic can now access the same services at health centres in nearby places such as Kippax.

But Coun Dobson says the case studies he has received show that the current set-up is not meeting the needs of residents in Garforth.

Alleged problems outlined in the dossier include:

* A three-month wait for an appointment for a bad back at Kippax for a patient who says she was seen “almost immediately” at Garforth for the same complaint last year;

* A lack of parking at Kippax that, according to one patient, means her visits to its warfarin clinic are now “extremely stressful”;

* The “falling by the wayside” of a memory clinic that used to be organised for patients at Garforth.

Coun Dobson said: “The best case scenario would be for the clinic to reopen but, even if it doesn’t, then people need to feel assured that they have adequate access to services elsewhere. Sadly, I believe that isn’t the case.”

Coun Dobson added that he had passed a copy of the dossier to health watchdog Healthwatch.

The Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust shut Garforth Clinic at the start of this year following an ‘engagement period’ when feedback was sought on the closure plan.

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