Councillor urges GP surgery users to ‘use it or lose it’

Councillor David Martin with patients at the Underwood GP surgery.
Councillor David Martin with patients at the Underwood GP surgery.

A councillor has urged patients at a GP surgery in Underwood to use it – or lose it.

Residents turned out in force to debate the potential closure of Underwood surgery at a meeting at the Underwood Miners’ Welfare Club, following the retirement of GP Dr Rajah.

A manager at the surgery has reassured patients that service will continue as normal for the time being and a replacement GP will be in place from May.

Councillor David Martin said: “There were three issues that stood out to me at the meeting.

“The first was the evident passion from the people of Underwood about keeping the practice in Underwood and how difficult the fight had been to get it there in the first place.

“The second was the lack of interest from the younger patients who are aged 50 years and under who are currently able to just jump in their cars and go to Jacksdale.

“I can tell them that state of affairs won’t last forever and by then it will be too late to do anything about it.

“The third was the startling fact that only 33 per cent of our residents actually currently visit the surgery.

“If we could convince half of the others to come back we would have no problems whatsoever

“I would say, whatever patient’s previous reasons for going outside the village to see a doctor, please reconsider them.”

“After May we will have two doctors at Jacksdale, Dr Brown and Dr Saqib Shah, and hopefully in the near future a branch practice in Underwood too.

“But if patients carry on as they are they will be consigning the practice to Jacksdale.

“Then the village of Underwood and its residents will surely lose out.”

A request was made to close the surgery on Hankin Avenue last month, with 1,300 patients transferred to the Jacksdale surgery, but was rejected by Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group.

There were concerns about the future financial stability of the practice.

Mel Lindley, practice manager at Underwood Surgery said: “Discussions will continue with the CCG to see what can be done to provide primary care services for Underwood and a formal consultation has begun.”