Patients dealt a blow with news GP practice to close

Shiremoor Resource Centre, where Earsdon Park Medical Centre is based.
Shiremoor Resource Centre, where Earsdon Park Medical Centre is based.

Patients are having to find a new GP after a doctor’s surgery announced it was closing.

Earsdon Park Medical Centre is to close next March, leaving 4,500 people without a GP.

The move has been announced by NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, which plans and buys most healthcare services in the area.

The practice, currently operated by Freeman Clinics, works from two sites – at Shiremoor Resource Centre and the Oxford Centre in Longbenton.

Dr John Matthews, a local GP and chairman of North Tyneside CCG, said: “This is disappointing news for us all, but we can assure patients that GP services will continue to be available to everyone in the area.

“There are five practices accepting new patients within one-and-a-half miles of Shiremoor Resource Centre, and more than six close to the Oxford Centre.

“The contract for the current service provider ends on March 31, and we have considered our options for the future with great care.

“Sadly, with a relatively small number of patients split across two sites, more than five miles apart, it is very unlikely that we would be able to find a new provider able to operate the service.

“We have written to all patients with an update and some practical information about choosing another practice. We will ensure that help is at hand for anyone who finds this difficult, and we are working closely with neighbouring practices to ensure they are well placed to welcome new patients to their lists.”

Any patient who would like to help to register with a new GP practice can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 032 0202 or northoftynepals@nhct.nhs.uk

Patients will need to register before Earsdon Park closes.

The practice currently cares for around 3,129 patients at Shiremoor Resource Centre, and 1,341 at the Oxford Centre.

Healthwatch North Tyneside, the independent champion for patients, is also available to discuss any concerns or questions.

Healthwatch is available on 0191 263 5321 or info@healthwatchnorthtyneside.co.uk