AROUND a third of patients at a GP surgery facing the axe don’t want it to close
But the plan by NHS Kirklees to shut Fartown Health Centre on Spaines Road in Fartown – that used to be run single handed by Dr Dev Dutt – says the closure plan will still go ahead despite the petition.
The patients need to go to other GPs in the area, but it can now be revealed that 500 of the 1,585 patients registered there have signed a petition calling for the surgery to remain.
Dr Dutt was struck off in November 2007 after a catalogue of incidents involving 11 patients between 1985 and 2005.
The General Medical Council – which registers GPs – found him guilty of malpractice on charges including putting patients at unnecessary risk with inappropriate treatments, failing to properly monitor patients’ conditions and breaching patient confidentiality.
NHS Kirklees – which has been running the practice for the last four years – announced the surgery will close on September 30.
NHS Kirklees employed nursing and support staff as well as locum GPs so that the service could be maintained.
Letters to all of Dr Dutt’s remaining patients were sent out in August to inform people about the changes.
They told the patients what other GP practices were available and pledged to help them register with these other GPs.
The neighbouring Grange Group Practice, Drs Butt and Ahmad on Bradford Road, Dr Handa on Fartown Green Road and Dr Das and partners on Woodhouse Hill, Fartown, are among those being suggested.
But an NHS Kirklees report revealed: “A petition was received signed by over 500 patients. The petition states that the signatories strongly oppose the current NHS Kirklees action to disperse the practice list.’’
The report adds: “Should such a petition be taken to the Secretary Of State it is most likely to be disregarded as it does not ask for the PCT to do anything.
“It just states an objection to what is happening.
“The PCT has taken into consideration how it can best provide alternative general and personal medical services for this group of patients.’’
An NHS Kirklees spokesman said: “The decision to close the surgery has been taken and still stands.
“But five patients attended our recent NHS Kirklees board meeting and we have now arranged to have a meeting with them on September 10 to go through the decision in detail and answer any questions they may have.’’
But the son of an 89-year-old Dr Dutt patient said previously: “Who in this PCT cares for the distress and inconvenience to the elderly and vulnerable who are presently cared for by a team of people who have turned that surgery around? Their only concern is about closing yet another single doctor’s practice that serves our community.”