‘Unsustainable’ Banbury doctors’ surgery could close under changes

Banbury Health Centre ENGNNL00120110407165225
Banbury Health Centre ENGNNL00120110407165225

An ‘unsustainable’ doctors’ surgery in Banbury is threatened with closure as health bosses seek to reorganise GP practices in the town.

A number of options for Banbury Health Centre are proposed including assimilating it with Woodlands Surgery and West Bar Surgery to create a 30,000-patient practice.

The new practice would either be run from all three buildings or the Bridge Street surgery would be closed, which would reduce costs.

A consultation is expected to be held by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) in the new year on the proposals as nothing has been decided yet.

A report to Oxfordshire County Council’s joint health overview and scrutiny committee says there is a chance to create a new model for Banbury’s primary care. GP services in the town face ‘significant difficulties’, partly due to recruitment problems and increasing demand.

PML, the not-for-profit organisation which runs Banbury Health Centre, backs the proposals as its contract ends in March.

Director of clinical services Tony Summersgill said: “It is now recognised that practices of this size are becoming unsustainable both clinically and financially and are too small to deliver the full range of services that today’s patients need in a modern health centre.

He added: “We think this a great opportunity to improve the care for our patients.”

An OCCG spokesman said: “OCCG is planning a consultation with patients in early 2018 to share the options available for the future of Banbury Health Centre and to seek views before making a decision on the future of the practice.”