Chelmsford surgery which deteriorated beyond repair during COVID closures can go to temporary site
Health services may be short of a temporary building to replace a Chelmsford surgery in the face of permanent closure due to significant deterioration during the closure during COVID.
Partners at Wood Street Surgery in Chelmsford want to close the site permanently as it is ‘unable to deliver 21st century healthcare’ after it deteriorated significantly while closed due to COVID-19.
Since the pandemic, doctors and nurses at Wood Street Surgery have performed all services for patients at the purpose-built site at Rivermead Gate, which is 2.1 miles away.
They will continue to provide services at Rivermead Gate if the permanent closure is put in place. This means that patients registered with the practice will still be able to be seen by doctors at Rivermead Gate GP.
A request to permanently close Wood Street was rejected by the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in October 2021.
But the partners have since said the condition deteriorated so much during their closure due to COVID-19 that it was no longer financially viable to repair or renovate.
The corrective works necessary to make the premises fully accessible to patients of all abilities would also lead to the reduction to two of the number of consultation rooms with a consequent impact on the number of clinical appointments that could be offered.
In a letter sent to Vicky Ford MP Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership said: ‘But following the GCC’s decision in October 2021 to refuse a request from Rivermead Gate to permanently close the Wood Street branch, the partners have indicated that the condition of the premises had deteriorated significantly during their closure due to COVID-19 to the point that they felt they were no longer fit for purpose.
“A review of the site was therefore undertaken by the CGC Estates team which concluded that although the premises could be renovated, it would likely be very expensive and the extent to which they could be improved would be limited due to the size and layout of the building.”
It adds: “Given the circumstances, the practice has exercised its right to appeal the CCG’s denial of its request to close the surgery branch and the CCG has agreed that the premises may remain closed until this appeal be considered at the next Primary Care Commissioning Committee. June 16.
“The GCC is aware of its duty to consider the impact of the requested closure on vulnerable patient groups and its wider implications for health and health inequalities.
“With this in mind, the Estates and Mid Essex Alliance teams are currently trying to identify alternative solutions, for example if there is a nearby site from which branch surgery services could be provided or if the patients could register with local practices.”
Ms Ford said: ‘I lobbied the local NHS to try to reopen Wood Street Surgery so I was concerned to receive this letter from the NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group regarding the state of the premises.
“I have spoken to Mid Essex CCG and understand that if the decision is made that surgery cannot reopen then they will look to establish alternative services. This includes researching potential sites for a nearby modular clinic.
A Rivermead Gate Medical Center spokesperson previously said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, our Wood Street site has unfortunately been deemed unfit to provide 21st century healthcare and we therefore call for the site to be permanently closed. .
“We are therefore proposing, after much deliberation and consultation with NHS England, Mid Essex CCG, infection control advisers and health and safety inspectors, a permanent closure of the site.
“We have worked in partnership with NHS England and have requested that if in the future they can find us an alternative site close to the branch site, we would be more than willing to move there and not just provide our existing patients with care. located, but actively expanding our patient list, however, currently there is nothing available.