Since the start of June when we wrote to patients about the retirement of Dr Saunders and the planned closure of Richards Medical Centre, the practice has received feedback from over 250 patients through questionnaires, online responses and meetings. We welcome further feedback
There have been many expressions of disappointment and also of thanks for the distinctive service that is provided by the doctors and the staff. There have been some suggestions to overcome individual issues that have led to the decision to close but so far we have not found a viable solution that would enable the Centre to continue.
A number of the common questions and concerns are listed below.
When would the Centre close?
The planned closure would be at the end of August.
What do patients have to do?
There is no need to do anything – the existing registration would continue and patients will be seen at Donnington and to receive services from there. Patients may choose to register with a more convenient surgery.
Will other local surgeries continue to take new patients?
Yes. Patients will be able to register at the surgery of their choice.
If I decide to change practice, when would I need to move?
Ideally, by the end of August. The process is straightforward. We recommend that you take to the new surgery photographic proof of identity, proof of address and also your NHS card/number would be helpful.
Your new doctor will review any repeat medications before issuing a new prescription so please ensure that you have an adequate supply to last for two or more weeks.
Existing appointments will be automatically cancelled
It would be helpful if you were to make the new surgery aware of any existing referrals that they you aware of and of any regular treatment that you are receiving e.g. wound dressings with the Practice Nurse.
How are medical records transferred?
Electronic records (used since around 2002) are routinely transferred within a week –
or sooner of needed. Paper records take around three weeks. The patient does not need to
Will patients be able to use their existing pharmacy?
Yes. There is no need to change pharmacies. Prescriptions can be ordered in the same way -online, in the surgery, at the pharmacy and by telephone. They can be sent electronically or on paper to the pharmacy of choice for collection or delivery.
What happens to contact with District Nurses, midwives, health visitors and drugs workers?
All of these services have been contacted and will be ensuring that there is no loss of service. You can help by notifying them of your intention to remain with this practice or where they move to.
Can Donnington Health Centre cope?
Yes. There will be a concentration of clinical services (doctors, nurses, phlebotomists) and we have recently refurbished parts of the Health Centre to increase capacity. Like most surgeries we wish we had a larger car park because it gets busy at peak times. There is on street parking available, however.
What will happen to the staff at Richards Medical Centre?
All of the staff have been offered positions at Donnington Health Centre.
What happens next?
We will continue to take feedback until the end of June and then report to the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England for their further consideration and decision about closure.