Commenting on an announcement by NHS England that Crest Surgery will be withdrawing from running St Martin’s Surgery, Knowle, and the patients will need to register elsewhere, Bristol South MP Karin Smyth said:
“We have of course been here before quite recently and it is deeply regrettable that, once again, St Martins’ patients find themselves facing uncertainties about what they will see as one of the most fundamental healthcare rights: access to a local, trusted GP practice.
“I know that many patients, those with long term conditions, for example, will be very worried about the situation. And there will also be concerns about capacity if patients registering elsewhere simply heaps more pressure on other local surgeries.
“It is deeply unfair on patients to have been given such a short amount of time to find another GP.
“Primary Care in south Bristol is at a critical point and whilst I currently have little confidence the situation will be resolved, I do expect health managers and government Ministers to sort it out. That is the challenge I put to them on behalf of the people I represent.
“What is important now is that those who have been served by St Martin’s Surgery have continuing GP care, and a seamless transition to other practices. From talking with local people it is clear there are strong opinions about what should happen next and patients will expect NHS England to have taken into account local views and patients’ best interests when planning the next steps.
“I know many patients will not find it easy, for example, to get along to the drop-in sessions organised by NHS England to raise their concerns and to ask questions, so it is vital that local people have other opportunities to be informed and updated. I will be discussing all these issues with local NHS managers, and so I continue to welcome comments from St Martin’s Surgery patients.”