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Retain a GP surgery in Fetcham

June 3, 2019 4:00 PM

Fetcham surgery - Paul & Raj ()

Cllrs Haque & Kennedy outside the threatened GP surgery

Mole Valley Liberal Democrats have started a petition to retain a GP surgery in Fetcham in response to residents' concerns about the proposed closure of the Molebridge Practice's Fetcham Surgery from 20th August 2019. If authorised this closure would leave Fetcham, which has a population of nearly 10,000 residents, without any local GP services.

The petition reads:

We are extremely concerned about the impact of closing the Fetcham surgery of the Molebridge Practice which would leave many Fetcham residents without access to local GP services. The loss of Fetcham's only GP surgery will particularly affect elderly residents and those with limited mobility and transport. It will also undermine local pharmacies and other related businesses in Fetcham, and put increasing pressure on other GP surgeries in Bookham and Leatherhead which are already overstretched.

We call on Surrey Downs CCG, NHS England and other organisations with influence over the provision of GP services in the Fetcham area to take all necessary steps to enable the people of Fetcham to retain permanent access to a local GP surgery.

Liberal Democrats have been raising concerns about local GP services in Fetcham for some time. In February 2018 Fetcham Councillor Paul Kennedy asked Mole Valley's then Executive Member for Wellbeing what steps were being taken in relation to any changes to local GP arrangements to ensure that Fetcham residents have access to high quality local GP services. At the time he was assured that both the Molebridge Practice and its Fetcham satellite would be retained, but that the Council would continue to monitor the situation.

Councillor Kennedy said: "We recognise that the current split site arrangements are unsatisfactory for the Molebridge Practice and that a majority of Fetcham residents already use other GP surgeries in Bookham or Leatherhead. We also recognise that there is a national crisis in GP services, which has been exacerbated by Brexit and the impact of the Government's 'hostile environment' on recruitment of doctors and nurses.

"However, many residents using the Molebridge Practice are elderly or have restricted mobility and transport, which means they would be adversely affected by any closure. Furthermore, there would be added pressure on other GP surgeries in Bookham. The loss of a local GP surgery would undermine local pharmacies and other businesses in Fetcham."

Fetcham Councillor Raj Haque added: "We believe that more local residents would register in Fetcham if there were greater confidence that it would continue as a full-time surgery, and that this in turn would provide security for local pharmacies. We will therefore continue to work through our colleagues at Mole Valley Council and other channels to seek to retain local GP services in Fetcham."

The current timetable is as follows:

14th June - the Molebridge Practice will formally present the findings of its patient survey with its application to Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

28th June - the proposal will be considered by the CCG's Primary Care Operational Group (PCOG) at its meeting in June

12th July - the proposal will be determined by the CCG's Primary Care Commissioning Committee (PCCC) at its meeting in July

20th August - if the CCG authorises the proposed closure, the Fetcham site will close. Existing patients will continue to be registered with the Molebridge Practice at its Leatherhead site.

As well as signing our petition, existing Molebridge patients in Fetcham are urged to complete the Practice's patient survey. Concerned residents are also encouraged to write to the CCG by emailing ben.kemp@nhs.net.

Announcement from Molebridge Practice