Trent Road surgery earns reprieve but still faces uncertain future

The future of Trent Road surgery in High Crompton has been put on hold after a report that could have led to its closure was described as containing “inconsistencies”.

Patients now have until August 31, 2019 to provide further evidence to support keeping the practice open.

A final decision is expected to be taken in around a month’s time.

News of the reprieve was greeted with relief by patients who attended a meeting of NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group Primary Care Commissioning Committee on Thursday, August 22.

The Parks Medical Practice has applied to the CCG to close the Trent Road branch – a surgery since 1982 – to concentrate all services at its main site at the Royton and Crompton Health and Wellbeing Centre.

If it had been approved by the committee, including Oldham Council chief executive Carolyn Wilkins, the branch would have closed on September 30, 2019.

Cllr Louie Hamblett (third right) with patients from Trent Road surgery and staff from Lifestyle Pharmacy

Members were told the rationale for closure included: working across two sites is increasingly difficult; logistics of maintaining an efficient and safe service is difficult to achieve, practice budget does not allow for the effective running of two sites without compromises; only one consulting room, no ease of access to wheelchair users and no masked area or interview room to facilitate confidential conversation or privacy.

The committee also heard that the Oak Gables Medical Practice and the Village Medical Practice at Crompton Health Centre, High Street would have capacity to take patients currently using Trent Road who didn’t want to travel into Royton centre.

However, several members raised concerns about stated travel times from High Crompton and surrounds into Royton.

Shaw and Crompton Parish Councillor Tracey Bland said in an email to the committee: “After reviewing the consultation and discussions with members of the local community the overriding concern is the ability to get to Royton for an appointment/ treatment.

“Almost a quarter of all residents in Crompton are over 65 years of age with a significant number of residents trying to stay in their homes for as long as possible.

“But to do this require the support of local services. An hour walk or a 30-minute wait at the bus stop while waiting for interconnecting bus services to Royton for some of the most vulnerable people in the Parish cannot be said to be “accessible”.

“it is clear from the report that the buildings at Trent Road are insufficient to enable the developments that The Parks practice require to improve health services for patients.

“However, removing yet another health provision from Shaw and Crompton will not assist the Parish to cope with the significant health implications that it has.”

Crompton councillor Louie Hamblett, who attended the meeting, said: “Although patients are still left in limbo, we urge them at this practice to apply to join the Village Medical Practice or the Oak Gables Partnership, both based at Crompton Heath Centre, as they are entitled to do so as it only take one bus route to get there.”

CCG chair Graham Foulkes said: “I am hearing things that make me think that today is not the right day to make a decision.

“We at the CCG are committed to the improvement, safety and care of the patients in Oldham. And from what I have heard there are some inconsistencies in the reports that have been presented to us.

“We have also heard fresh information has come in which is not part of these reports. So, it would be wrong to make a decision today.

“I would ask Marion (Colohan, senior commissioning business partner) and her team to look at the information that has come in and to work closely with the Parks Medical Centre to look at these inconsistencies and to offer an explanation and way forward.”

2 Replies to “Trent Road surgery earns reprieve but still faces uncertain future”

  1. to shut the surgery would leave so many older people in a position of fear and anguish of how to get to see a doctor and if the weather is bad would they think i will go when the weather is better, and that alone could be a serious mistake ,and would the doctors be able to do more home visits , i am sure with a little effort the surgery could be made to accommodate all patients , the surgery and the chemist are a total life line to all in Highcrompton ,

  2. I agree with the Frank Mathew. Not all older patients have the energy to travel to Shaw to the Health Centre. Even thinking about it can be daunting in itself. Until you’re in a position, for example, like me, very healthy looking, yet with limited energy resources, you can’t understand how such a journey phases you.
    Imagine you’re a 78 year old lady – old men are available too – living , say, on Great Meadow, who can just about walk to the current Parks Practice, and back home again, before having to have half an hour’s nap, because the local exercise to from see the doctor has jiggered her. Will the same old lady walk from Great Meadow to the bus stop, wait for a bus, that may or may not arrive, or may have been cancelled for any one of a few reasons, then, assuming it has arrived on time, walk from the Shaw bus stop to the surgery, up the ramp, (try to) sign in using the computer check-in system, part of the process at the Oak Gables surgery, then wait, all the while watching the ‘TV’ screen, for her name to come up, fearful she may miss her slot, if she doesn’t? That’s of course assuming she’s not missed her appointment, because the bus was late or didn’t arrive! No, she simply will not go to see her GP. She will not have the physical resources to carry out the exercise.
    OK, so some of you are saying that she can always ask for a home visit. She’s too much of the old school that says “Oooh no, I won’t bother the doctor, he’s too busy. He won’t want to come up to High Crompton just to see me”. So, what happens then? Who looks after this old lady?
    It’s all well and good for the Parks Practice, down in the Metropolis of Royton, to think, “Hmmm, Dr. Pal has gone, let’s close this satellite place and save some more money, so we can divvy it up between ourselves at the end of the year and make yet more ££££s, besides our £65000 annual salary”.
    These, and all GPs, work for the NHS. National Health Service. SERVICE. NATIONAL. Those are the important words. SERVICE. NATIONAL.
    How in the name of all that’s holy do the Parks Practice and the CCG think they’re providing a service, by shutting a vital service – there’s that word again – that’s been available and vital to this community for so long??
    But, if my experience of beaurocracy – I can never spell that word!! – is anything to go by, the closure will ALREADY be a done deal and all this shilly-shallying will just be a PR exercise. Oooh, Andrew, how can you be so cynical??
    Let’s hope I’m wrong.
    Oh, yes, the old lady, what happened to her?
    After several days of not being seen, she was found by the police, who broke down her front door, after being called by a neighbour, and found her dead, in her chair, all because she had no surgery on hand and hadn’t wanted to trouble the doctor.
    How do these folk at the Practice and the minions at the CCG sleep at night?

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