Hundreds of new signatures in fight for future of Sheffield surgeries

Paul Blomfield MP with Dr Graham Pettinger and Geoff Green and Geoff Wilkinson
Paul Blomfield MP with Dr Graham Pettinger and Geoff Green and Geoff Wilkinson

Almost 900 people have signed a petition against NHS funding changes that campaigners say could see half-a-dozen Sheffield surgeries close in the next few years.

The petition was launched last month by patients from the Devonshire Green and Hanover Medical Centres, where doctors have warned they may eventually have to shut as a result of the changes.

It has now been signed by more than 870 people.

The campaign is being backed by Sheffield Central Labour MP Paul Blomfield and Coun Jillian Creasy, the Green Party candidate running against him in May’s General Election.

Campaigners want the Government to reverse its plans to phase out the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee and claim as many as 13,000 Sheffield patients could be left without a surgery as the funding is removed over a seven-year period.

Coun Creasy, Green Party candidate for Sheffield Central, has added her voice to the campaign to protect the government funding to general practices which is planned to be removed. She has tabled a motion to Sheffield Council for Wednesday, February 4, calling for the council to support the campaign.

She said: “Devonshire Green serves a very diverse community, a very mixed population with a high proportion of patients suffering from poverty, homelessness, mental health problems, drug and alcohol addiction. This is why it will be hit so hard by a withdrawal of MPIG.

“In a time of crisis for the NHS, we cannot allow more sources of primary care to be cut and for more people to be pushed into going to hospital for their treatment. It is of vital importance that we unite as a council to pressure the government into keeping MPIG in place.”