A DOCTOR’S surgery which closed without warning will reopen temporarily from next week.
Hightown surgery on Brynycabanau Road was forced to shut in October due to a shortage of staff, and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) said it would withhold £5,000 of funding for every month it remains shut from March.
Partners at the main Gardden Road Surgery in Rhos said they were struggling to find doctors to work at the Hightown branch, and to reopen it with a shortage of staff would be dangerous.
In a bid to keep funding, partners have decided to reopen the Hightown surgery temporarily and use locum GPs to run it.
But they have also made an application to health bosses for an official closure.
Practice manager Tracey Clark said: “We have opened the Hightown branch on a temporary basis due to the pressure from the health board, but we’re not happy about it.
“Our hands are tied. We have far too much to manage, and patient safety is being compromised.
“We have applied for an official closure of the Hightown branch.”
Partners were asked in December to reopen the Hightown branch within 28 days, or face termination of their contract.
When the branch did not reopen, BCUHB announced it would withhold £5,000 of funding per month for every month it remains closed.
This money would have been deducted from a monthly pot of funding for running costs, payment of staff and locum cover.
The figure varies from month to month but averages about £54,000.
The loss of funding could mean the eventual closure of the Rhostyllen branch, claimed partners.
GP sessions in Hightown will run on Monday and Thursday mornings beginning next week.
A nurse session is to be confirmed.
A BCUHB spokesman said: “The health board is delighted that patients will be able to access services at Hightown Branch Surgery again from March 4, as agreed with Gardden Road Surgery.
“The practice has confirmed to the health board that they wish to apply to permanently close the branch.
“Their application together with the results of their patient engagement exercise will be considered by the health board when it is received.”
Whitegate councillor Brian Cameron has made an appeal to patients of the Hightown surgery who are opposed to the closure to get in touch.
He said: “This facility has been an integral part of the community for many years.
“It is not practicable to expect patients to travel to partner surgeries in Rhos or Rhostyllen to collect prescriptions or to receive attention when required.
“I am seeking your assistance and support by pursuing this matter with the parties in question to achieve a positive conclusion, so allowing the practice to remain open.”
Call Cllr Cameron on 01978 264795 or email brian. email@example.com.