Thursday 26 May 2016
Closure of Garforth Clinic
The petition of residents of the Elmet and Rothwell,
Declares that the decision of the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust to close Garforth Clinic removes ease of access to local health services for elderly and disabled patients; further that it removes podiatry, adult dietetics, children's speech and language therapy, psychological therapies, musculo-skeletal, cardiac and weight management services from Garforth; further that it removes access to a local warfarin clinic for those without personal transportation; further that it highlights a failure to comply with statutory functions of an NHS Trust; further that the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust has failed to identify a sustainable alternative or detail how neighbouring health centres will cope with increased demand; further that the Trust has failed to reference pressure from Leeds City Council's Core Strategy, which plans to build thousands of additional dwellings around the town; and further that the Trust withdrew from a pre-arranged public meeting with our Member of Parliament and City Councillors at which residents were hoping to explain their personal concerns over the removal of local health services.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department of Health to encourage the independent Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust to review its decision to close Garforth Clinic; arrange a meeting with residents to answer concerns; and re-consult with patients on the impact that such a closure will have.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Alec Shelbrooke, Official Report, 03 May 2016; Vol. 609, c. 143.]
Observations from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Ben Gummer):
Configuration of health services is a matter for the local NHS. Any changes must meet the four tests for service change: they must have support from GP commissioners, be based on clinical evidence, demonstrate public and patient engagement, and consider patient choice.
Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust advises that during 2014/15, it undertook a programme of service review and redesign affecting the majority of services. As a result of this programme, a number of services identified the need to change and reduce the number of locations from which care was delivered.
The Trust advises that there was a full public consultation for 12 weeks from August to November 2015. Proposed changes included the removal of services from Garforth Clinic and the subsequent closure of the building. The Trust sought feedback from patients, carers and other stakeholders by a variety of methods during this period and advises that the views of both local councillors and MPs were sought.
The Trust Board received a report outlining all comments and questions received during the engagement period. The report also set out mitigating actions to support the most vulnerable members of the public.
The Trust advises that it continues to provide the same level of service to Garforth residents. Most services are now provided at the nearby Kippax Health Centre, with additional clinics having been arranged. A local voluntary transport scheme helps those who have difficulty accessing services which have relocated. The Trust is monitoring the changes and engaging local community groups to advise on service changes where appropriate. The Trust hopes to arrange a further public meeting within the Garforth community to provide feedback on progress with service changes and the proposed sale of the clinic building.