Anger has been voiced over a Northumberland doctors’ surgery’s proposed move to the site of a new hospital.
Brockwell Medical Group at Cramlington is planning to relocate to the site of a new emergency care hospital currently being built in the town.
The move has angered patients and a councillor who say the population served by the practice at the moment will be deprived of the service if the moves goes ahead.
Bosses at the surgery, based at Brockwell Centre on Northumbrian Road, held discussions over a possible move to the site of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation’s Trust new hospital last year, and carried out two surveys. Letters have recently been sent to all patients explaining the reasons for the planned move, as part of a consultation which runs until February 17.
Drop-in sessions are also to be held, while representatives from the group attended a meeting of Cramlington Town Council on Thursday night.
The meeting was also attended by 10 patients who are concerned over the proposed move.
They, and town and county councillor for Cramlington Wayne Daley, are concerned at the fact the thousands of families served by the surgery will be faced with longer journeys to the new site.
Many patients are elderly or young families with no cars.
Retired Bill Cross, 63, of Hauxley Drive, has been unable to drive for the past six months following an operation on his arm, and has to walk to the surgery.
“Brockwell is far enough. I am a bit shattered by the time I get there. If they were to move to East Cramlington there is no way I could get there if I do not have a vehicle.”
Coun Daley said he had been contacted by around 250 people with concerns, adding: “It will have a significant impact on my residents.”
The councillor is calling for a satellite service to be left at the present site if the move goes ahead.
A practice spokeswoman said: “The Brockwell Medical Group understands that some patients have concerns about travelling to the proposed new site. However the practice covers a large geographical area including the whole of Cramlington and not just the neighbouring estates.”
The spokeswoman said the move “will bring a range of benefits for its patients” and said there had been “positive comments” at the meeting.