The future of a GP practice in Leyland will be finalised at a meeting this week.
Patients of Station Surgery have faced uncertainty since the sudden death of Dr George Wadie Ahad, 75, back in April.
READ MORE >>> Patients demand answers over plans for Leyland GP surgery
Dr. Ahad was the surgery’s only GP and had run the practice, based on Golden Hill Lane, for over 30 years. Chorley and South Ribble clinical commissioning group (CCG) arranged for the Preston-based Park View Surgery to take over the running of the practice on a six-month emergency contract which ends in November.
The CCG’s primary care commissioning committee is now set to decide whether to attempt to secure a permanent replacement for Dr. Ahad or to close the surgery and redistribute his 2,800 patients to other GPs in the area. The meeting is open to the public and will take place at St Catherine’s Hospice at 3.30pm on Wednesday.
Papers to be presented to the committee reveal that there are ten other practices within a three-mile radius of the Station Surgery and several have confirmed that they would be able to accommodate additional patients. If the CCG decided to pursue that option, patients would be allocated to a new surgery on a “managed” basis, taking into account travel times – although individuals would be free to make their own choice of practice.
However, over 200 responses to a consultation carried out with patients indicated a “clear feeling” that they would like the Station Surgery to remain open. The meeting will hear that patients praised the “great experience” which they have had there, describing it as “homely” and somewhere which treats patients as people and “not a number”.
The surgery’s staff were also singled out for praise and some respondents wanted Dr Ahad’s legacy in building up the surgery to be respected by keeping it open.
Ken Jones, South Ribble Borough councillor for the St Ambrose ward, said that more than 10 per cent of the practice’s patients had signed a petition urging commissioners to find a future for Station Surgery.
“That shows the strength of feeling about this,” Coun Jones said.
“There may be other surgeries, but people are happy where they are – and it’s the only surgery on this side of Leyland with a car park.”
Whichever option is chosen, there will be no gap in service for Station Surgery patients.