Local politicians repeat call for GP services to remain in Gresford

Wrexham’s Assembly Member and MP have reiterated their belief that a GP surgery must remain in Gresford.

Lesley Griffiths AM and Ian Lucas MP have met Alyn Family Doctors to receive an update on the latest position and to discuss the outcome of the public meeting they organised in Llay on 5 March.

Alyn Family Doctors’ previous application to close Gresford Health Centre for primary care was turned down by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in September 2018.

The doctors remain keen to transfer GP services based in Gresford to their other surgeries in Rossett and Llay and immediately made it clear they intended to appeal the decision.  Before a second application could be considered, the Health Board requested that a thorough and sustained patient engagement needed to be carried out.

As part of this improved engagement process, the practice organised the public meeting which took place in Llay on 5 March.  The meeting was independently chaired by the Community Health Council and attendees included patients, all the practice’s GPs and Health Board personnel.

Alyn Family Doctors believe they need to close the branch surgery in Gresford to ensure the practice’s own sustainability, highlighting occasions in recent months where the practice has experienced difficulties in keeping Gresford open due to staff sickness.  The practice is also working with community staff locally on plans to develop a ‘community base’ in Gresford.

Lesley Griffiths AM said “While the practice has again outlined their reasons for wanting to leave Gresford, I can only reiterate that I firmly believe a GP service should remain in the village, whether it is provided by Alyn Family Doctors or an alternative practice.

“It is certainly a problematic and complex situation. GPs are self-employed independent contractors who are entitled to reallocate their services in a particular way but it is the responsibility of the Health Board to ensure every resident has access to a GP.

“Following last week’s public meeting, it was important to meet with the practice at the earliest opportunity. A community the size of Gresford should have its own GP service and I believe it’s vital we continue to communicate with the relevant bodies to ensure the best possible outcome.”

Ian Lucas MP added: “Both Lesley and I remain very firm in our belief that Gresford must have its own GPs’ surgery.

“We had a long and constructive meeting with Alyn Family Doctors and will continue to liaise with the Health Board about these proposals.

“I appreciate it is a very complex situation but my paramount concern is for the people of Gresford, who use the surgery and want it to remain in the village. Many of them are elderly and would have great difficulty in travelling to either Llay or Rossett.”