Brighton surgery’s closure blamed on shortage of doctors

A plea to keep a Brighton doctor’s surgery open was unsuccessful as health bosses said that they had done all that they could to recruit new doctors.

Matlock Road patient John Moore put his case to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Mr Moore is among a number of people in the area who want the Matlock Road surgery to stay open.

But the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said that the surgery was closing and the remaining general practitioner (GP) Dr Paul Allan would transfer to the Beaconsfield Surgery in Preston Road.

Mr Moore asked why the CCG would not take on the lease itself and rent the surgery to GPs who would be interested in taking on patients in the Matlock Road area.

He wanted the council to work with the CCG to bring more GPs to the area, saying that there was one GP per 2,526 patients in Brighton and Hove compared with the national average of one GP to 1,780 patients.

Councillor Lizzie Deane, who chairs the council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said that all efforts had been made to recruit a new partner for Dr Allan.

But those efforts were unsuccessful and while the council was aware of the recruitment issue, it did not employ GPs.

Transport was another concern. Mr Moore said: “Currently many people are very concerned about the impact of the proposed closure of Matlock Road surgery.

“The CCG engagement meeting seemed to dismiss patients’ concerns in their response.

“The transfer of patients to Beaconsfield practice affects those who do not drive and do not have a free bus pass.

“It will cost these people £5 to get four buses for a return journey from the Matlock area every time they need to get an appointment at the Beaconsfield practice.”

Councillor Deane said that the CCG had told the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board that it would tell patients which surgeries might be easier to reach.

Mr Moore said that he had not received such information so Councillor Deane said that she would follow it up.

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