Row breaks out over lack of bus services to proposed Sheffield GP surgery

A Sheffield MP has said she cannot support plans to relocate two GP surgeries in the city due to a lack of bus services to and from the practice.

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, said South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive had failed to listen to patients of Meadowgreen Surgery.

Deborah Fox, who set up the petition.

Deborah Fox, who set up the petition.

Meadowgreen Health Centre announced plans to close its surgery on School Lane, Greenhill, and site on Lowedges Road and run the practices within Jordanthorpe Health Centre – more than a mile away. Meadowgreen Health Centre, School Lane, Greenhill.

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Ms Haigh said: “I know from the conversations I’ve had with residents that the lack of public transport to the new surgery site is a source of serious concern, particularly for older patients and those with mobility issues.

“Unfortunately, despite my repeated calls for a more regular and direct bus service to the Jordanthorpe site, none of the options being consulted on meet patients’ needs.

Meadowgreen Health Centre, Old School site, School Lane.

Meadowgreen Health Centre, Old School site, School Lane.

"Without improved transport infrastructure, moving Meadowgreen surgery would result in unacceptable disruption to patients and mean the surgery would become inaccessible to those reliant on public transport. As it stands, I cannot support plans to move the surgery.

"I will continue to press for an improvement in the offer from SYPTE but I am disappointed they have chosen to overlook this pressing need in their consultation."

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SYPTE has launched a consultation on new options for the M17 bus route, but Ms Haigh said none of the possibilities presented adressed the concerns regarding access to and from the surgery.

Jordanthorpe Health Centre.

Jordanthorpe Health Centre.

Deborah Fox, 36, of Lupton Road, said: "The commute is the biggest concern. I am asthmatic and if I have an attack I can sometimes struggle to get to the two sites now so I honestly don't know what I'd do if they closed.

"But there are people who are in a far worse situation than me. There are a lot elderly people who live around here and there is only one bus an hour and that doesn't serve Lowedges so these plans are literally isolating people."

Partners at the health centre said the moves were necessary as the current premises were 'becoming unfit for the purpose of providing modern day GP services'.

A letter to patients, published on the health centre's website said the relocation of both practices was 'the only viable option to provide a safe and effective modern General Practice'.

Louise Haigh, Sheffield Heeley MP

Louise Haigh, Sheffield Heeley MP

It added that the Meadowgreen Health Centre would remain separate from Jordanthorpe Health Centre and all patients would be automatically transferred to the new site, which would be operational by March 2019.

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In a statement earlier this year, partners at Meadowgreen Health Centre said: "We would like to reassure our patients that this is not a merger nor are there any planned changes in personnel and none of the doctors are planning on leaving or retiring.

“Our existing premises are insufficient in size and scope to provide our current services and leave no room for the provision of additional services in the future.

“We have explored various options over the last five years including the expansion of the current premises and for a variety of reasons this isn’t possible. After careful consideration the partners feel they have no alternative but to look to relocate."

For more information on the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-clinical-commissioning-group-stop-meadowgreen-health-centre-moving-into-jordanthorpe-health-centre

The Star has contacted SYPTE for a comment and is awaiting a response.

To view or take part in the consultation visit https://www.surveygizmo.eu/s3/90109018/Service-M17