Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of Trimdon Parish Council held in Trimdon Grange Community Centre on Wednesday 22 June 2017 at 7:00pm.
Present: Councillor John Burton (in the Chair) and Councillors, Eileen Dickinson, George Elliott, Margaret Elliott, Margaret Hughes, Bernadette Oliver, Leslie Oliver, David Smith, and Paul Trippett.
Anne Delandre (Clerk to the Council) was in attendance to record the minutes and County Councillor Peter Brookes was in attendance.
32. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Denise Davison, Ian Quinn and Keith Thompson.
Resolved that the above apologies be approved.
33. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.. Resolved that the above be noted.
34. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Colin Vallance, Pharmacist, was in attendance. Resolved that the above be noted.
35. DECISION BY SKERNE MEDICAL GROUP TO TEMPORARILY CLOSE TRIMDON VILLAGE DOCTOR’S SURGERY
A copy of a letter sent from Skerne Medical Group to temporarily close Trimdon Village Surgery on 21 July 2017 to all registered patients was circulated at the meeting. Although the letter was undated, patients were given less than one week’s notice of the closure.
The letter suggests that this decision will be reviewed in one month, but the meeting expressed concerns that the Surgery may never re-open.
Paul Trippett advised that the NHS Durham Dales, Easington & Sedgefield Clinical Commissioners Group (NHS DDES CCG) has confirmed that Trimdon Village has received a poor service over recent years. Eighteen months ago, when it was first proposed that the Doctor’s Surgery may close, Skerne Medical Practice was asked by the CCG to undertake a study of patient need. This study has not taken place. A meeting has taken place with Partners from the Group and Paul Trippett, Phil Wilson MP and County Councillor Peter Brookes where concerns were expressed regarding the closure.
Peter Brookes confirmed that he had also met with David Taylor-Gooby, representative on the CCG Patient Representative Board, and outlined the case. It was confirmed that a full consultation should have taken place prior to the decision to close the surgery and there may be a breach of contract between the Medical Group and the CCG. Peter Brookes had expressed his concerns that an area with high levels of Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) could permanently lose such a valuable resource and residents will be forced to travel to neighbouring villages to visit a Doctor. One option to resolve the situation would be to look to attract a new Practice, with new GPs, but this would not be easy.
Colin Vallance advised that a lack of investment in Trimdon Village could also be a threat to the continued service of an independent pharmacy.
It was agreed that the Medical Group and the CCG need to work to resolve the situation and secure a long-term future for medical provision in Trimdon Village. It was noted that this closure will also result in a bigger strain on the three remaining surgeries and will result in longer waiting times for appointments.
It was further agreed that to progress this, the Parish Council should hold a Public Meeting to gauge support for further action. In the meantime, patients should be encouraged to write to their MP and GP expressing their concerns regarding the closure.
1. That Trimdon Parish Council opposes the temporary and/or permanent closure of the only Doctor’s Surgery in Trimdon Village and agrees to campaign with other groups and residents to ensure Trimdon Village has first class primary health care facilities
2. That a Public Meeting is held on Monday 26 June 2017 at 7:00pm in Bluebell Meadow Primary School and all residents be invited to attend
3. That a letter be sent to Skerne Medical Practice and NHS DDES CCG requesting that representatives from their organisations attend the Public Meeting