Health bosses planning to close Gorleston GP surgeries

16:00 20 February 2015

Lauren Rogers 1

Shrublands Health Centre on Magdalen Way, Gorleston. Picture: James Bass

Shrublands Health Centre on Magdalen Way, Gorleston. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2015

GP surgeries in Gorleston could be closed and relocated to the James Paget Hospital.

A 13-week consultation in the summer will ask thousands of patients what they think about moving at least three of Gorleston s GP practices.

It is understood that Central Surgery and Millwood would stay where they are and it is Gorleston Medical Centre on Shrublands, Falkland, and Family Health Centre that could be relocated to a bigger, purpose-built facility on the JPH site. In a letter dated February 18, Andrew Evans, chief executive of Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, HealthEast, said: If you are reading this letter, you may have heard a rumour that one or more of the GP practices in Gorleston is going to be closed. I want to reassure you that this is absolutely not the case.

He goes on to say that three of Gorleston s surgeries face challenges as patient numbers grow, adding: We know that it would be very helpful to have some GP care nearer to the James Paget Hospital to help reduce the pressure on the A&E department. For this reason, in the summer of 2015, we will be consulting with the public about the possibility of some of the central Gorleston practices relocating to a new primary care centre on the James Paget site. He said it is not currently known which GP surgeries might move or when and those are details to be looked at when members of the public are consulted in six months time.

A HealthEast spokesman said the consultation would start in June and run through the school summer holiday. Reassuring patients that health bosses would listen, she said: We hope people will see, by looking at the consultations we ve held in Lowestoft and with the mental health services, that we can change proposals after hearing what people have to say. HealthEast has already been talking to Gorleston s Patient Participation Groups (PPG) about the changes, and there will be public meetings about the shake-up in the coming months.

David Brown, a patient at Shrublands and chairman of Hopton Surgery and Gorleston Medical Centre s PPG, said a genuine consultation with the public was paramount. It s part of a much bigger picture. They re talking about moving them to one big site where there ll be a range of services.

I support the idea but, personally, I m not sure how it s going to work. Shrublands alone has 6,500 patients on the books. Where it is at the moment, it can t expand so moving to the JPH would change that.

I know they ve done something similar at Kirkley Mill in Lowestoft and that seems to have worked, so it could work here but there are going to be issues like parking and how older people are going to get to the Paget in the first place. Kirkley Mill is a 6m purpose-built facility incorporating a GP surgery, specialist neuro-rehabilitation, community nursing clinics, speech and language therapy, immunisation, leg ulcer clinics and more. Last October, HealthEast moved out of hours GP services from the Nelson Medical Centre, Great Yarmouth, to the JPH.

A month later, it announced it would spent 12 months looking at all of Yarmouth and Waveney s health services including hospital, community, primary care and social care to create a fully integrated health and social care system . At the time, the CCG said it would look at: n where services are based across the CCG area to ensure equity for all,

n how care is provided in communities and in community hospitals, n where and how best to provide urgent health care, n how GP and primary care services in Gorleston should look in the future.

The public consultation was originally due to launch next month, but has been put back until after the general election.

Anyone with questions during the pre-consultation, or has any views on subjects which should be included, can email [email protected]2.


  1. ^ Lauren Rogers (
  2. ^ [email protected] (

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