Parish council, MP and county councillor express disappointment at Hopton surgery closure

West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock
West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock
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A parish council, county councillor and local MP have expressed their disappointment at the announcement the GP surgery in Hopton will close in January.

It was confirmed yesterday that services at Hopton would be transferred to their linked surgery in Stanton after a funding application for a new facility did not meet criteria set by NHS England.

Nearly 50 people came to meet Matthew Hancock to hand over a petition of more than 1,300 signatures calling on the NHS Executive to keep a GP surgery in Hopton ANL-150704-153240001

Nearly 50 people came to meet Matthew Hancock to hand over a petition of more than 1,300 signatures calling on the NHS Executive to keep a GP surgery in Hopton ANL-150704-153240001

A statement from Hopton Parish Council said the news was “hugely disappointing”, and claimed the surgery had served patients in neighbouring villages including Market Weston, Coney Weston, Blo Norton and Garboldisham.

It added they would explore ways to keep services in the village, including from surrounding areas or a community funded new build surgery.

“Despite this decision we have not yet given up and will continue to challenge and question the legitimacy of this outcome through the appropriate NHS channels.

“We have significant concerns regarding the decision making process given that what was announced as a temporary suspension of GP services in December has now resulted in the complete closure of the Hopton Surgery with no formal engagement or consultation with patients by the NHS.

We have significant concerns regarding the decision making process given that what was announced as a temporary suspension of GP services in December has now resulted in the complete closure of the Hopton Surgery with no formal engagement or consultation with patients by the NHS

“We are also unclear on the funding criterion now being applied to what we believe is an existing and long-standing contract to provide GP and other services in Hopton.

“Whilst of course we would be keen to retain our current surgery, we are also seeking to ascertain whether there may be interest from any neighbouring Practices to establish some form of provision in Hopton. In this we are entirely flexible and understand that a more viable option might be to establish a supporting clinic, service or dispensary in Hopton in order to ease pressure on a main Practice hub elsewhere.

“Finally, we are also looking at the feasibility of a community funded new build surgery that could then be rented to a partner surgery.

“We do not underestimate the difficulties we face but we have had tremendous support from County Councillor Joanna Spicer, Borough Councillor Carol Bull, our neighbouring Borough and Parish Councils and Healthwatch Suffolk. Having valued the healthcare that has been provided in Hopton for, we believe, over 100 years we are not prepared to let it be taken away from us quite so easily.”

Mark Westley Photography
Hopton Surgery, Hopton. ANL-150331-234057009

Mark Westley Photography Hopton Surgery, Hopton. ANL-150331-234057009

MP for West Suffolk Matthew Hancock said: “Last year, I presented a petition with more than 1,300 to the NHS calling on them to support proposals to keep a surgery in Hopton village, as part of the proposed Hopton South development. The Hopton and Stanton GPs have worked tirelessly to keep the surgery open and I share their disappointment that despite their efforts they have been unable secure funding for a new surgery in Hopton.

“I will continue to support the GPs and their patients to ensure that Hopton and Stanton residents continue to have access to excellent NHS services in the area.”

And Joanna Spicer, a Suffolk County Councillor who headed up the campaign to save the surgery, added: “I am certainly not giving up on trying to keep a GP surgery for the people of Hopton and the surrounding villages.”