Proposals tabled to permanently shut Glemsford branch doctor surgery in Hartest

The Hartest Branch Surgery is facing closure. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

The Hartest Branch Surgery is facing closure. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The only GP surgery in a Suffolk village is facing the prospect of closure.

Bosses at Glemsford Surgery are seeking people’s views on proposals to permanently shut its branch practice in Hartest.

They say the surgery has come up against “a number of challenges” since the retirement of GP partner Dr Guy Lesser in March 2017. This has resulted in services offered from Hartest Branch Surgery being significantly reduced.

With patient numbers growing fast and 500 additional houses planned in Glemsford by 2020, leaders are considering the benefits of consolidating their resources at the Glemsford site and expanding the range of services available there.

Dr Matthew Piccaver, GP partner, said: “The closure of the Hartest Branch Surgery is not an easy decision for us to make. Whilst we appreciate that it has previously been viewed as an integral part of the local community for many years, we have to find a way to move forward to meet the needs of a growing practice population in the face of a national GP recruitment crisis.

“We understand one concern regarding the possible closure is the loss of a local prescription collection point for those who live in Hartest and the surrounding area, particularly for those without their own transport to Glemsford. To help ease this concern we propose to have a weekly medication collection service using the Glemsford Surgery van in addition to our normal provision of medication delivery services.”

Representatives for the local councils were contacted but did not want to comment until they met with surgery bosses to get further information.

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Barbergh district councillor for Glemsford, Michael Holt, said: “We have got to consider the for and against. By the sounds of it they are future planning, which is a good thing.”

A public engagement period will run until June 11, 2018 for people to give their views on the proposed closure of Hartest, and to share any ideas regarding future services at Glemsford.

There will be a presentation and Q&A at Glemsford Surgery on May 17 at 7pm, and a drop-in session at Hartest Branch Surgery on May 22 between 1pm and 2.30pm. Comments cards are also available at Glemsford Surgery or via: