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Local councillor calls for clarity on future provider at Forge Road surgery

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Jan 18th, 2019.

A local councillor has called for clarification over the future management plans for a GP surgery under control of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Cllr Beverley Parry-Jones, who represents the Bryn Cefn Ward, asked health representatives for assurances that a new provider will be found soon for Forge Road surgery in Southsea.

The surgery has been managed by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board since January last year after GPs at the practice announced they would be terminating their contract with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board with effect from December 31st 2017.

It has over 6,500 patients on its books and serves residents from Brymbo, Southsea, Brynteg and the surrounding areas.

Yesterday Wrexham.com reported negotiations to hand back three practices in Wrexham which are currently managed by the health board – Borras, Hill Crest and Forge Road – to a ‘preferred provider’.

At the meeting earlier this week members of Wrexham Council’s safeguarding, communities and wellbeing scrutiny committee were told that provision at the three sites would be delivered via a non for profit community interest company (CIC).

A meeting had also taken place earlier this week and it was hoped a paper and approval would be sorted in March.

However Cllr Parry-Jones, said: “I can remember sitting here well over 12 months ago and being told that Forge Road was going to be up and running very shortly.

“How confident are you that the paper you referred to earlier in today’s discussion is actually going to get signed off in March? I’ve heard this before and I don’t have that confidence that it is going to happen.

Dr Gareth Bowdler, eastern area medical director for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “We met with the company and the GP yesterday (Tuesday) to make sure that the paper we put to the board has the highest possible chance of success.

“I went to the meeting very skeptical, but I am quite reassured and confident now that they’re offering a good package the board is likely to approve.”

Cllr Parry-Jones also called for clarity over potential providers in the past 12 months who have “been able to fulfil that contract” at the surgery, but have not been awarded the contract by the health board.

She added: “I find that unacceptable to people primarily in that ward in that village and overall to Wrexham. In the bigger picture even to the whole of North Wales.

“What is the criteria that all of a sudden you can award that contract this year, but you had a provider last year but couldn’t award it?”

Rob Smith, area director at Betsi Cadwaladwr University Health Board, said it “would not be appropriate to go into the procurement process and the decision making here”.

He added: “To give an assurance, as soon as the submission proposal meets the standards required by the health board to get the right quality of service, then it will be approved.

“I can can give our assurance that whatever can be done for the contract to be signed off as soon as possible, we will do that.”

You can read our full report on primary care provision in the Wrexham area here.

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