Council committee pledges ‘deep dive’ into future of Buckingham's GP surgeries

Buckinghamshire County Council
Buckinghamshire County Council

Bucks County Council have promised to answer concerns that the proposed relocation of Buckingham’s surgeries may isolate vulnerable people reliant on town centre services.

The council’s Health and Adult Social Care Committee addressed a recent petition, brought forward by carers in Buckingham, on November 28.

Through the petition, which has been signed by over a thousand people, residents expressed their “dismay at the proposed closure of surgeries in Buckingham town centre, presenting carers and more vulnerable residents with increased problems and costs.”

Aylesbury Vale District Councillor Robin Stuchbury formally raised the issue at the meeting. He said: “What we’re really asking is that you seek to provide assurance that the clinical commissioning group will undertake an equality impact assessment before any changes are agreed and implemented.

“I feel there is a vast disparity between rural areas, elderly people, the people who are vulnerable who started the petition and aspirations of how to get to a doctor’s practice.”

The committee’s chairman Cllr Brian Roberts said: “We’ll take this to the relevant authorities to make sure we get the answers you need and bring it back to the committee to review those answers.

“It’s the work of this committee to get those correct answers and we’re here to support the residents and make sure everyone is safe.

“As time goes on we’ll see what response we can get and see how much as a committee we can work on this, to have a deep dive into it.”

The Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Group, who plan health care services in North Buckinghamshire, meet for a Governing Body meeting at the Aylesbury Vale District Council Gateway building on December 14, from 10am to 2pm.

Health committee members addressed the petition shortly after the public questions from Cllr Stutchbury and referenced a response from the Swan Practice.

The letter outlines the practices case for moving practice operations to a new facility in Lace Hill. It said: “Our premises are in dire need of updating to be fully fit for purpose and one site (Masonic House) is being used as an administration hub, due to layout and ground floor constraints meaning it cannot be used for patient care.

“The Swan Practice completely understands that this will be a service location change, but there is an urgent need to utilise the resources more efficiently and in turn extend the range of services that can be provided to the population of Buckingham.

The Swan Practice currently operates three surgeries and one administrative property in the area, with a total of 30,000 registered patients.