Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the Lister House Practice in Wiveliscombe and Milverton, has been notified that NHS England has agreed to support the application to close the Milverton Branch Surgery. The application decision was made due to the difficulties in recruiting GPs.
The Trust recognises that this decision will be a huge disappointment to the local Milverton community but is one that Somerset Partnership and Lister House Surgery have had to make to protect GP services in the long term for all patients within Milverton, Wiveliscombe and surrounding areas.
The decision means that the Milverton surgery will close in February 2018 and be replaced with prescription collection and delivery services, and nurse-led vaccination and health and wellness sessions for people with long term conditions. Doctors’ appointments will be consolidated at Lister House surgery, approximately four miles from the Milverton surgery.
Dr Andrea Trill, Medical Director for Integrated and Community Care, said:
“We know that Milverton Surgery is an important part of the community and that many residents will be disappointed with this decision. However, due to ongoing shortages of GPs, Somerset Partnership Trust found it could not sustain services at two sites. Given also that the lease for the surgery is due to end in February, the Trust applied to NHS England to close the branch surgery at Milverton and this has been supported by NHS England.
“Over many months, we have worked with the local community including Lister House Patient Group, Milverton Parish Council and the Milverton Working Group to discuss and address local concerns. We recognise transport is a significant issue for some residents and we will be investing in Wivey Link, the local community transport provider, to help those patients without their own transport to get to Lister House. We will also provide a small range of services in Milverton, such as flu vaccinations, blood tests and other nurse led group clinics to support people with long term conditions and promote health and wellbeing."
The surgery will be closed from February 2018 when the current lease expires. Information will be provided at Milverton Surgery and on the practice website to keep all patients updated on arrangements and services.