CONCERNS have been raised over a series of temporary closures at a GP practice in Wrexham which is under threat of being shut permanently.

Earlier this year, partners at Alyn Family Doctors announced their intention to relocate services from Gresford Health Centre to their two other surgeries in Rossett and Llay.

It came despite a previous attempt being rejected by the region’s health board.

While doctors have yet to make a formal application to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, patients in Gresford have had to travel further afield on several occasions in recent months because of temporary closures.

The practice has now revealed it will be closed on twelve separate dates throughout the rest of July and August due to a shortage of doctors, while Rossett Surgery will also be shut for one day.

A leading Wrexham politician has spoken out about the situation after bringing residents’ frustrations to the attention of health board officials.

Gresford councillor Andrew Atkinson, who sits on Wrexham Council’s ruling executive board, said: “The recent and forthcoming closures of Gresford practice on certain days really concerns residents, especially as there’s no explanation of why it always seems to be this practice that shuts when staffing issues arise.

“As well as the issues regarding any future application from the practice to close Gresford to GP appointments, we discussed ongoing concerns about the time it takes for our residents to get an appointment over the phone and why available technology that allows for a fair queuing system isn’t used.

“I asked the practice not to make any application to the health board until the patient engagement group has had chance to assemble, meet and explore all options.

“This seems to be the fairest way forward and the community council made this request too, which I’m pleased the practice agreed with.

“We will continue to make the case for keeping Gresford practice open and thank residents for their support on this incredibly important issue.”

Last month, representatives from Alyn Family Doctors issued a warning about their ability to deal with the growing population of the villages they serve.

Their comments were made as they filed an objection against proposals to convert and demolish disused farm buildings on Gamford Lane in Rossett in order to create eight new houses.

They have since issued an apology for the upcoming closures.

In a statement posted on the practice’s website, they said: “We wish to advise our patients that unfortunately due to a shortage of doctors, we will be making the following changes to our normal opening times and service provision at Gresford Health Centre and Rossett Surgery.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

In response to the concerns raised about the closures, Betsi Cadwaladr officials said they were actively providing support to the practice .

The health board has also outlined plans to create a new community hub in Gresford as a possible solution.

A spokesperson said: “While Alyn Family Doctors is a not a health board managed practice, we are aware of the challenges faced and are supporting it to ensure all patients have an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals to relocate services from Gresford to Llay and Rossett.

“We are also working with GP partners to develop a community hub in Gresford where a multi-disciplinary team can meet with other agencies to discuss and assess the needs of the patient in the community.

“We are aware of the planned closures in Gresford in the coming weeks and we will continue to hold meetings with our GP partners to discuss and facilitate a sustainable way forward.”