Fresh questions on Leeds clinic closure

CONCERNED: Coun Mark Dobson wants health bosses to rethink plans to close Garforth Clinic.
CONCERNED: Coun Mark Dobson wants health bosses to rethink plans to close Garforth Clinic.
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FRESH details have emerged about the decision-making process that has left a health clinic in east Leeds on the brink of closure.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust has just approved the shutdown of Garforth Clinic.

The trust says patients will be able to access the same services at clinics in nearby places such as Kippax, Halton and Seacroft.

Its decision followed a 12-week “engagement period” during which feedback was sought on the proposed closure.

And a report to a meeting of the trust board held earlier this month reveals some of the issues raised by people during that process. They include:

* Concerns over “inadequate” parking at the clinic in Kippax;

* Possible accessibility problems for people who rely on public transport;

* How long the closed building will be left boarded-up and in danger of becoming an “eyesore”;

* The future use of the Lidgett Lane site and the possibility of it being sold for housing.

Coun Mark Dobson (Lab, Garforth & Swillington) told the YEP: “It seems to me that the consultation gave a clear steer to the trust about what decision should be made but sadly it hasn’t been taken on board.”

Around 450 patients are expected to be affected by the closure of the clinic, scheduled for the start of February.

Trust deputy chief executive Bryan Machin has said that “high levels of maintenance and repairs” would be required to bring the site up to a standard where it could offer “the best facilities”. Speaking last week, he also said: “We are confident that the care needs of Garforth residents can be well met at other nearby clinics and we will continue to work with those affected to ensure that this is the case.”