Health bosses have launched a last-ditch bid to save a Sheffield medical practice from closure.
NHS England confirmed today it had officially started to look for a new provider to take over Westfield Health Centre, which could shut its doors at the end of this month because of the impending retirement of its sole GP, Dr Gurcharan Singh Chadha.
The practice has almost 2,000 patients.
NHS England said it has started the re-procurement process, but local MP Clive Betts claimed the organisation was ‘setting up the process to fail’ after only giving possible providers 48 hours to express an initial interest.
A consultation event has been arranged by NHS England at the surgery on Monday morning, when patients will be given an update.
Richard Armstrong, director of commissioning for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw at NHS England, said the organisation was told on October 14 Dr Chadha would be leaving.
He said: “Given the challenging timescales we are faced with, we have started the re-procurement process to find a new GP provider for Westfield Health Centre.
“We are continuing to talk to patients and inform them about their options of registering with another local GP practice, or remaining registered at Westfield Health Centre, if an alternative GP provider can be found.”
Mr Betts said: “There was a ridiculously short period of time to express an interest. They are setting this up to fail.”
He said patients were originally told the centre would close when Dr Chadha left, but following a public outcry NHS England has now started a consultation with patients alongside the re-procurement process.
Mr Betts said he hopes a locum doctor could be installed to allow more time to find a permanent provider.