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Alex Sobel and Labour community campaign have headed off NW Leeds surgery closure

I was delighted to hear the good news today. NHS England have announced that Holt Park Surgery will not now close. That’s excellent news for the people of Holt Park, Cookridge and Tinshill. And it’s a victory for the community campaign which the Labour team and I have led on this issue – a great way to do politics.

 Alex_and_Al_w_NHS_petition.jpg

The surgery, which serves the Holt Park, Cookridge and Tinshill area, contacted patients at the end of last year about the proposed closure, suggesting they transfer to the GP practice at Moor Grange. 

Immediately,  local people started to get in touch with me about the proposed closure. They were especially concerned about the difficulties in getting to the new surgery at Moor Grange. That’s two miles from Holt Park surgery, and especially challenging for people who are unwell or frail. The bus service is irregular and for some patients the new journey would involve two buses.

 So we got to work, alongside patients at the practice. Together with local Labour candidates Mark Henley [for Adel and Wharfedale] and Al Garthwaite [Weetwood], and with Labour party members, I knocked on doors and organised street stalls through the winter. We gathered over 500 signatures for a petition against the closure.

We presented the petition to NHS England, the body responsible for commissioning GP services, on 11 February, calling on it to intervene in the closure and make sure that the views and needs of patients were properly considered.

The petition also pointed out that current housing development in Bodington Manor, Cookridge Hospital and Centurion Fields with more planned in the area, including older people’s housing next to the Holt Park surgery, is increasing the population, creating a need for more not fewer GP services in the area. 

The proposals failed to recognise planned local development and its needs. They were also a huge failure of consultation and local democracy. 

The Labour campaign helped put that right. Today’s announcement is excellent news for Holt Park patients. But it’s also a great outcome to the community campaign that I'm proud to have supported.

 That’s how we like to do politics.

 

 

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