News | Rhys Williams | Published: 15:53, Tuesday November 5th, 2019.
Last updated: 17:25, Monday March 23rd, 2020
Campaigners are calling on the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) to save Gilfach Surgery from closure.
The health board has received an application from the Gelligaer Practice to close its Gilfach branch, which could see patients having to travel to Gelligaer for appointments.
ABUHB will consider the application alongside the Aneurin Bevan Community Health Council and the Gwent Local Medical Committee, with an independent panel set to consider the application early next year.
ABUHB has sent out a questionnaire to patients of the branch asking them for their views. The deadline for patients to respond is December 23.
Wayne David MP said: “The closure of Gilfach is opposed by current patients. This is not a decision that has yet been made and we urge patients to make their views known to the Health Board well before the end of the consultation.
“The health board must not allow the closure of this branch and I will be making that clear to the board in my own response.”
Hefin David AM said: “I’ve spoken to patients, particularly in Gilfach and Bargoed, who are distressed at the prospect of closure.
“There are a great many patients who have been using this practice for a considerable time and would find the relocation to Gelligaer more than inconvenient.
“I am also concerned that the additional patients at Gelligaer would cause issues for people in that community as well.”
Gilfach councillor Lindsey Harding and Bargoed councillors Carol Andrews, Tudor Davies and Dianne Price are among those backing the campaign to keep the branch open.
Bargoed Town Council is also supporting the campaign.
A spokesperson for ABUHB said: “The Doctors at Gelligaer Surgery have applied to close their branch surgery in Gilfach based on their wish to consolidate service delivery in the main surgery premises in response to staff shortages.
“The Health Board has an established policy for considering such requests which involves consultation with patients registered at the surgery and other interested parties including local representatives.
“It will also involve discussion with the practice to explore alternative measures that could mitigate their reasons for seeking the closure.
“We have already written to registered patients and interested parties to seek their views.”
The spokesperson added: “Following the process of consultation, a health board panel will consider the case put forward by the surgery and the responses to the consultation and other relevant information to arrive at a recommendation on the future of the branch surgery which will then require formal ratification by the board.
“We will keep patients informed as we move through the process.”