Future of Leeds health clinics in balance

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The future of three health clinics in Leeds is unclear as NHS bosses say the buildings do not meet modern standards.

But users of one facility have accused NHS chiefs of already making up their minds to close it.

A consultation is soon to begin over the use of Garforth Clinic, Otley Clinic and Leafield Clinic in Moortown, which provide services including podiatry, physiotherapy, Warfarin clinics, and children’s healthcare.

Health heads reviewed facilities across Leeds and found the three buildings did not meet their standards for providing care in “clean, modern environments”.

Patients have been asked their views but councillors and residents in Garforth say a questionnaire was “disappointing” as it appeared geared around services moving.

Coun Mark Dobson (Lab, Garforth and Swillington) said: “While it is important that health services evolve, it is clear from the service users I have spoken to that not only is Garforth Clinic fit for purpose, it is also a facility that is held in high regard.

“I would ask whether the healthcare trust have consulted with local GPs about what other services could be incorporated into the clinic?”

Fellow ward councillor Coun Andrea McKenna added: “Garforth Clinic has been at the forefront of local health services for a long time and I believe that it should remain that way with a focus on how it can be improved to cater for a growing population in the area.”

Patient Ron Sudderdean, 78, said: “The questionnaire that was sent out was clearly biased towards a move elsewhere.

“The whole ethos is to move facilities out of hospitals and into the community. Garforth Clinic is in the community and we don’t want it shifted out.”

A spokesman for NHS Leeds said: “We have asked for the views of the local population about alternative locations for the delivery of community health services in three areas of the city, should they need to be relocated.”

He said the three-month public consultation would gather views on the options and a decision would be made after that.

“We would like to reassure patients that no decision has been made at this stage regarding the future of the three sites.”

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