York House surgery in Heywood will close at the end of March
This is an edited version of an article first published by Manchester Evening News.
A long-standing surgery is to close after struggling to recruit enough doctors to keep it running effectively.
Patients at York House, in Heywood, will now have to go to Argyle Street Medical Centre – after health chiefs agreed for services to be ‘consolidated’ at the one site.
Both surgeries have been run by the same group – Heywood Health – since 2016.
But the York Street practice – which also hosts a food bank – has found it difficult to attract permanent GPs after three retired and one left for personal reasons.
And with other staff absent on sick and bereavement leave, it has had to bring in locum doctors – who do not have the same responsibilities as salaried GPs.
Meanwhile, another doctor at the surgery is soon to go off on maternity leave.
The continuing staffing issues were in danger of jeopardising Heywood Health’s ability to deliver medical services and meet its contractual obligations.
And the group’s request to operate solely from its Argyle Street practice has now been signed off by Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (HMR CCG) – coming into effect from the beginning of April.
Practice manager Pam Ilnyckyj said the closure of York House was ‘heartbreaking’ but one that was a result of the national shortage of doctors, which she described as ‘a crisis’.
But she says the decision to operate from one site has been made to ensure patients continue to receive ‘high-quality healthcare’.
Ms Ilnyckyj added: “As many of our patients will know, for some time, the practice has been having trouble in managing and sustaining two sites for Heywood Health.
“All our patients deserve a high-quality healthcare service but because of clinical staff issues, we are unable to sustain the services at two sites.
“That’s why we made a request to Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG to consider an application to transfer all our services to Argyle Street Medical Centre and close the York House Surgery site.
“Following a period of consultation with patients and stakeholders, this proposal has been approved and Heywood Health will close its York House Surgery site at the end of March.
“The practice is more than willing to carry on listening to the views of patients and we hope that they will continue to choose Heywood Health for their health care for years to come.”