There was a glimmer of hope a Banbury doctors surgery could stay open after a public meeting about its possible closure yesterday evening (Monday, April 23).
Stuart Gale from Frost’s Pharmacy next door to Hardwick Surgery said they could help to keep the practice open as it is so highly valued by the residents.
“We would like to keep some sort of surgery here as it would make us vulnerable but we should be okay, but I want to make it work as that’s what everyone wants,” he said.
While patients asked if the surgery could open without a doctor and just nurses, which the management said they would look into as well as the pharmacy’s offer.
But Stephen Hayes, partner at West Bar Surgery which runs the Hardwick practice, explained the numerous issues facing them, chiefly the lack of doctors.
Other problems included the poor state of the building, its lack of equipment and reliable internet, and staff working alone if there are not many people there.
Dr Hayes said: “It’s really hard to run a small branch surgery, there have been weeks where we can’t open.”
One patient said they felt the doctors had already made up their minds as the surgery needed to close to save money.
Dr Hayes responded saying he has put in a lot of his time into the surgery and does not want it to close but understands the reasons why.
Many people complained about the trouble with parking at West Bar Surgery, where all patients would go if the Hardwick branch closes, especially compared to the easiness in finding a space at the practice on Ferriston.
A consultation into the surgery’s possible closure ends on April 30 – to take part, visit www.westbarsurgery.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01295 256261 for more information.