Patients were given an assurance that their surgery was not going to be closed at a meeting in Hove this morning (Wednesday 23 April).
Lindsay Coleman, practice manager at the Burwash Road surgery in Hangleton, rebutted rumours following the announcement of a merger with the Portslade County Clinic, a teaching practice in Old Shoreham Road.
She was speaking at the Hangleton and Knoll Health Forum, a patient participation group for three practices in Hangleton, at St Richard’s Church and Community Centre in Egmont Road, Hove.
Ms Coleman said: “Burwash surgery is merging with the Portslade County Clinic.
“We’ve got more sessions in that site than we’ve had before.”
She said that there would be fewer locum doctors than there had been immediately after the retirement of David Henderson, who used to run the practice.
And she said the practice would stay open.
Councillor Dawn Barnett said: “I get quite a lot of complaints from patients. Burwash Road is really letting a lot of residents down.”
She said that it could take more than a week for a patient to get an appointment and there were often unacceptable waits for prescriptions.
She also said that patients had complained to her that they were being told to go to the clinic in Portslade and that this was unacceptable for many elderly people.
Ms Coleman asked Councillor Barnett to put her in touch with individual patients who had complaints so that they could be dealt with.
She said that patients were being offered appointments at the Portslade surgery only on Thursday afternoons when Burwash Road had always been closed.
She gave an overview of the workload involved in running a family doctors’ practice or GP surgery – for a practice manager and a doctor – and added: “I’m not saying that all doctors are wonderful people but the ones I work with really care about you.”
About 40 people attended the forum, including representatives of the surgeries in Burwash Road, West Way and Northease Drive.
The forum is one of several patient participation groups that have been set up in Brighton and Hove over the past year.