As you will be aware, one of our partners announced their retirement plans a few years ago and this triggered a review of the Wylam, Woodcroft Road site, as this partner is the property owner. There have been on-going discussions, as part of this review, and we have explored various options as part of a wider engagement process.

 

We can now confirm that NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has now considered all your feedback, along with the needs of the practice, and has approved our proposal to relocate to Oaklands Medical Centre, Front Street, Prudhoe, NE42 5DQ.

 

Please note, this will now be our main practice address and the name of the GP practice will remain the same – Riversdale Surgery.

 

We envisage the Wylam surgery will close on 31 July 2020.

 

We do recognise that this will be disappointing news for some, as Woodcroft Road is a convenient and valued GP practice within Wylam.

 

We believe that this decision is the best option for both the practice and our patients. We are looking forward to being together on one site and building a stronger multi-professional team to continue to provide high quality care and support for our patients.

 

The feedback collated shows that the greatest concern patients have is in relation to travel, especially accessing public transport.

 

The CCG also considered the impact and current ways of working introduced as part of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of this response, we are using telephone and video appointments and only seeing patients face to face, either at the surgery or at home, depending on clinical need. These new ways of consulting with our patients have worked well and will continue going forward, offering patients flexibility.

 

This new approach does reduce the need to travel to the surgery. However, the CCG has asked that together we further explore travel solutions, which we are happy to do with their support. One of the options we are considering, for example, is using volunteer drivers.

 

If you have any concerns that you feel the practice cannot address, you may wish to contact the Patient Advice and Liason Service (PALS) on 0800 0320202 or, alternatively, Healthwatch Northumberland on 03332 408468.

Thank you for your continued support and involvement in our practice and, as outlined earlier in this letter, we will work with others, including our patient participation group, to further explore travel solutions.

 

Dr R Donaldson & Dr J Halliday-Pegg