Plea for rethink on east Leeds health clinic closure

Coun Mark Dobson.
Coun Mark Dobson.
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A councillor is calling on NHS chiefs to reconsider their plans to shut a health clinic in east Leeds.

The Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust has just approved the closure of Garforth Clinic on Lidgett Lane.

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

The trust also says it is looking into the possibility of some services – including podiatry and musculoskeletal – still being provided in the town, although it is not clear exactly where such work might be done.

Coun Mark Dobson (Lab, Garforth & Swillington) says he has “significant concerns” over the closure of the site, scheduled for February.

And yesterday he urged the trust to think again before it presses ahead with a move he claims will be a major loss to the area.

Coun Dobson told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I have significant concerns about this decision and the way it has been reached.

“Garforth is a growing area and there are plans for more homes to be built here. We need investment, not a reduction in services.

“Question marks remain over where people are going to be treated and how the transition is going to be handled.

“It seems to me that the trust is going full steam ahead with this when there are a lot of issues that still need to be settled.”

A report to a trust board meeting held earlier this month says around 450 patients will be affected by the clinic’s closure.

Trust deputy chief executive Bryan Machin said yesterday 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”.

He went on: “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.”

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