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GP partners in premises lease dispute told they can’t close branch practice

GPs running a practice in Cardiff have been told they can’t close a branch surgery, despite being locked in a dispute with the landlord of the premises.

In a message to patients, the Pontprennau Medical Centre, had explained it had made the ‘difficult decision’ to apply to close one of its two sites based in Pentwyn.

‘The practice have a number of concerns over the continued running of the branch surgery, including but not limited to the condition of the building, leasing arrangements and accessibility issues,’ a statement said.

But the application has been turned down by the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, which has ruled the partners should resolve a dispute with the landlord via a third party or find another location in the area for their practice.

Patients have campaigned to save the St David’s Medical Centre branch surgery after concerns about longer waiting times for appointments and patients having to travel further to the other site.

The practice had reassured patients it would provide a ‘full range of services’ at its main site in Pontprennau.

Aside from the health board, the closure application was also opposed by local NHS watchdog the Cardiff and Vale Community Health Council, because the reason behind it was a contract dispute with the landlord.

The Local Democracy Service reported that Joe Carter, the Pentwyn representative on Cardiff council, said that they would wait to see how the GP partners responded.

‘If they truly don’t want to run this centre the contract should be given back to the health board to find alternative doctors who will run it,’ he said.

A spokesperson for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: ‘The GMS Panel met yesterday to consider an application from the practice to close the St David Medical Centre which is a branch surgery of Pontprennau Medical Centre.  

‘The panel did not uphold the application to close St David.  

‘The panel agreed that senior primary, community and intermediate care staff and specialist estates expertise would provide support to the practice to fulfil its expressed intention to remain at Pentwyn.’