Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan is urging residents to take part in a consultation on the future of Harbottle Surgery.
Since October last year, services have been provided by the Rothbury Practice twice a week from the Harbottle site, giving patients access to GP and nursing appointments. This interim arrangement is due to end on October 18. NHS England and Northumberland clinical commissioning group, the organisations responsible for commissioning GP services, are now looking how the service can be provided in the future and want to hear the views of patients. Initially, patients are being asked to participate in a short survey and all responses will be looked at, along with feedback already received. The deadline for completion is Monday, February 29.
Anne-Marie said: "It is really important that those who were registered with Harbottle Surgery let the NHS know their priorities for local healthcare. The NHS will not know what is most important for local people unless we tell them. It is vital they get a real sense of the types of services local people need so they can decide how to best deliver them."
The Harbottle Surgery saga began in August, when communities in the Coquet Valley and Upper Rede Valley were left in shock after NHS England dropped the bombshell news that the site was closing ‘in the interests of public safety’ at the end of that month. NHS England claimed it was forced to wield the axe after Dr Rina Miah took the sudden decision not to continue with her contract and was unable to provide GP cover for the surgery.
The announcement, which also affected the site’s satellite clinics at Rothbury Community Hospital and Otterburn Village Hall, prompted a massive public outcry and angry residents pleaded with health chiefs to give the surgery another chance and to reinstate a GP.
NHS England (Cumbria and North East) subsequently announced the interim agreement with The Rothbury Practice, to provide some GP and nursing services from the Harbottle practice.