A CONSULTATION regarding the future of a medical centre is set to take place this autumn.

At a meeting on Thursday, August 29, councillor Mick Lerry, along with representatives from Sedgemoor District Council (SDC) and the centre manager met with Somerset Clinical Commissiong Group (CCG) to discuss the closure of Victoria Park Medical Centre in Bridgwater.

The centre closed last month due to staffing shortages.

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At the recent meeting, it was decided there would be a consultation with the stakeholders and the community regarding the future of the medical centre.

"The consultation will commence soon and the CCG will be talking to other medical centres, regarding the reintroduction of a GP service," said Cllr Lerry.

"At the moment just over five thousand registered patients have been found and alternative GP practice.

"There will be a healthcare service continuing at the Victoria Park medical centre, which might involve Covid-19 testing and discussions are taking place.

"It was agreed by all present at the meeting that it was important to establish a GP practice again at the Victoria Park, but at the moment it was important to establish a safe GP service for the registered patients, due to the shortage of doctors."

Somerset County Gazette: CLOSING: Victoria Park Medical Centre in Bridgwater

Somerset CCG said it was a 'very difficult decision' to close the GP practice.

Due to staffing shortages, the practice was not able to continue to provide 'safe care'.

"We therefore made the urgent decision to close the existing practice on patient safety grounds," said a spokesperson for Somerset CCG.

"The closure of the existing practice does not reflect any decision of the CCG to permanently remove GP services from the community centre."

But Somerset CCG will still engage with patients, the public, and stakeholders about the future of NHS services at Victoria Park Medical Centre.

They have said the consultation will take place during the autumn.

"This engagement will include consideration of geographical access to GP services in Bridgwater and focus on how we can reduce health inequalities," the spokesperson added.

"The community centre was originally developed by stakeholders including the NHS in order to reduce health inequalities in the Victoria Park ward. Our commitment to that original aim remains.

"During autumn 2021, Somerset CCG will engage with former Victoria Park Medical Centre patients and stakeholders to gather comments regarding the provision of healthcare services in the local area.

"This feedback will be used to inform any proposals for future services in the area.”