Patients oppose Leeds GP surgery closure

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More than 300 patients have signed a petition opposing the closure of their GP practice.

As reported in Saturday’s Yorkshire Evening Post, Woodlands Surgery in Chapeltown, Leeds, is being closed by NHS England.

The move follows the practice’s GP, Dr Constance Hunter, being prevented from giving clinical advice there by the General Medical Council (GMC), as well as a critical report from the health watchdog.

The surgery is set to close on December 6 and its 1,800 patients are being registered with other family doctors.

However, long-standing patient Kathleen Copeland, 69, has begun a petition to demand it remains open.

She said: “At the moment we have got about 300 names on it. Every single one is up-in-arms about it.

“I’ve been a patient for 48 years and I’ve found her ever so caring.”

Dr Hunter has been subject to conditions on her registration with the GMC while an investigation takes place. Patients at the practice were being treated by locum doctors.

But when Care Quality Commission inspectors visited last month, patients arriving for appointments were not able to see a GP as the booked locum had not turned up.

The watchdog found that five essential standards, including on welfare, cleanliness and the safety of equipment, were not being met.

Despite that, patients told inspectors they were happy with their care. Dr Hunter has previously told the YEP that no patients had come to harm and there had been no complaints.

NHS England said the surgery was closed because it was not meeting the terms of its contract and could not guarantee to provide safe and effective care.