Community care concerns if surgery closes

North Norfolk coastal communities are concerned about access to care and medication if their local surgery is closed, according to a new report.

Healthwatch Norfolk was asked by Blakeney Parish Council to carry out a survey to find out the effect on the local community if the village doctor’s practice was closed.

Nearly all the 270 respondents felt the closure would have a negative impact on the local community.

Their biggest concern was around travel and transport for those people who were ageing, particularly as they felt public transport options were limited.

Many were also worried about collecting prescriptions which are currently available from Blakeney Surgery, and people wanted to know how they would be supported to attend appointments at sister surgeries in Melton Constable and Holt, and collect medication.

People also said they wanted to see a return to full GP services at Blakeney.

You can download the full report here.

The survey could be accessed online , paper copies were available with Freepost envelopes, and people could also phone through their views

Blakeney Parish Council also worked with Healthwatch Norfolk to share it locally on local social media sites and posting copies through people’s doors.

The findings are being shared with Blakeney Parish Council and Holt Medical Practice to form part of the ongoing consultation and discussions around the future of the practice.

Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk, said: “This survey helped provide data and feedback on the views of people about the proposed closure.

“As well as asking people for their comments, we also sought constructive suggestions about the building’s future and these included keeping a GP service but on reduced hours, using the building for special clinics like maternity checks or chiropody, or creating a multi-service health hub with a dispensary, care advice and community connectors who can help people with issues and concerns.

“We hope this independent report will add some data and insight on people’s views to the current consultation on the building’s future and we thank everyone for taking the time to contribute.”