Mid Wales

GPs to shut Llansanffraid surgery to cut costs

A GPs' practice in Powys is shutting one of its four surgeries in an attempt to cut costs.

Llanfyllin Group Practice will close its branch in Llansanffraid, near Welshpool, in August.

The practice said it had "struggled financially and administratively to provide services over four sites".

Local Welsh assembly members William Powell and Russell George have raised concerns, and Mr George has written to Health Minister Lesley Griffiths.

Concerns over the future of the surgery were first raised in 2007, but plans to close it were shelved.

Llanfyllin Group Practice also has doctors in Llanfyllin, Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant and Four Crosses.

A statement on its website said: "After much consideration we are now consolidating the services we offer to three sites, our main surgery in Llanfyllin and our branch surgeries in Llanrhaeadr and Four Crosses.

"Hence we will no longer be offering GP, nurse or dispensing services from Llansanffraid. We have given notice to the local health board and the service will close in August 2011."

It went on: "As you are aware the practice has struggled financially and administratively to provide services over four sites rather than the more usual one or two.

"As well, our other main source of income, dispensing, which supported the four site service has also been squeezed in recent years. The new contract has meant we are providing services for 1,000 more patients than six years ago with little increase in income and our main site has become busier as a result."

Liberal Democrat Mid and West Wales AM William Powell, who has met the vice-chair of Llansanffraid Community Council, Dennis Edwards, to discuss the surgery's imminent closure, said: "I am alarmed to hear that the surgery at Llansanffraid will soon be closing.

"Obviously it is a vital service, and one that local people depend on.

"This closure will hit the elderly and vulnerable, and people without access to their own transport, particularly badly."

Montgomeryshire Conservative AM Russell George said he had written to Mrs Griffiths urging her to examine the issue.

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