People who use Priory Avenue Surgery – set for closure at the end of June – are being given more time to choose another doctor’s practice.
The original deadline was 8 June 2018, but at a public meeting held on 29 May, they were told this had been extended to Wednesday 13 June.
People also have a final opportunity to put any questions to local NHS chiefs at a second public meeting being held on Wednesday 6 June, 7pm-8pm, at Caversham Hall, 5 St John’s Road (next to the church), Caversham, RG4 5AN.
The first public meeting was told that in the first week since patients had been notified about the closure, 1,400 people had already replied to say they wanted to move to Balmore Park Surgery. Balmore can take up to 3,000 of Priory Avenue’s patients and Emmer Green Surgery can take up to 1,500, if these people live north of the river. People who live in this area have been told to reply directly to Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (BWCCG) about their preferred choice. People living south of the river will have to choose from one of 12 GP surgeries across Reading and apply directly to their preferred surgery to see if they can join it as a new patient. Anybody who has not chosen a surgery will be allocated a place by BWCCG, which is responsible for funding and arranging local primary care services for Reading people.
The first public meeting also heard people express their sadness about Priory Avenue Surgery closing. OneMedicalGroup, a Leeds-based company, has run Priory since September 2016, but is ending its contract with BWCCG by ‘mutual agreement’ after ongoing quality and safety concerns and staff shortages.
Healthwatch Reading, which is a standalone watchdog separate from the BWCCG, will be at the public meeting on 6 June, and will also be dropping in to Priory Avenue Surgery’s waiting room, to help people with any concerns or queries they have about the process. We are keen to ensure that vulnerable patients – such as those who are frail, elderly, or who have a disability, get help and options that are best for them during this change.