Doctors who turned around a failing health centre have warned that their surgery faces ‘extinction’ after its NHS budget was halved.
Bosses at Slaithwaite Health Centre, which serves 4,800 patients, have been told their practice faces a 50% funding cut over the next three years.
The New Street practice had suffered a shortage of GPs, long waiting lists and cancelled appointments until it was taken over in 2007 by doctors Yusuf Shamsee, James Ward and Paul Wilding.
The surgery has since reduced its waiting times and enjoys glowing patient reviews on the official NHS website.
But the centre has been ‘threatened with extinction’ after NHS England announced it was reducing the practice’s funding by half until 2018.
A letter to patients said: “I regret to inform you that your surgery, Slaithwaite Health Centre, is threatened with extinction due to cuts to our budget amounting to 50% over the next three years.”
Now Slaithwaite Health Centre, which increased the number of registered patients by almost a third since 2007, says it will be forced to reduce its number of in-house GPs from six to three.
The letter said: “Since winning the honour of providing services at Slaithwaite Health Centre we have met and exceeded every target set...
“Slaithwaite Health Centre has recently been ranked towards the top end of surgeries for access and patient satisfaction.
“Despite all this, we have now received notice from the national NHS commissioning body that our funding will be cut by 50% between October 2015 and 2018.
“These cuts will force us to halve the number of GPs and nurses at your practice. Patients will face major delays in making appointments and service quality will deteriorate.
“Your GP and practice nurse will be stressed and less able to meet your needs.
“Services will return to the bad old days of 2007.”
A meeting to save the centre was convened on Monday.
The letter concludes: “We absolutely need your help.”
Kathryn Hilliam, Head of Co-Commissioning at NHS England in Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Funding for core services at the GP practice based at Slaithwaite Health Centre has not changed.
“However we are currently liaising with the practice, as part of a national funding review, around services they provide which are over and above the usual services provided by any GP surgery.”