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CCG consulting on future of surgery after GP died of Covid

The future of a GP practice is under discussion after its lead partner died with Covid-19.

Following the death of Dr Saad Al-Dubbaisi in May, Garden City Medical Centre in Holcombe Brook, Bury, has been managed by a neighbouring practice as part of a temporary caretaking arrangement – a plan that will be implemented for up to a year.

However, NHS Bury CCG is having to consider the practice’s long-term plans, and is encouraging patients to share their feedback to facilitate decisions.

Among the factors of consideration are equity and patient choice; existing services; value for money; and premises and population growth, while the views of key stakeholders, including neighbouring practices, are also being sought.

Dr Jeff Schryer, chair of NHS Bury CCG, said: ‘Garden City is currently being managed through a caretaking arrangement in the safe hands of Huntley Mount Medical Centre working in conjunction with Walmersley Road Medical Practice. This arrangement will be in place for up to 12 months to ensure continuity of quality care, giving us the opportunity to fully consider all options in relation to the future of the practice.

‘The most important thing is that we make the best decision for ongoing medical provision for the patients of Garden City. So it is vitally important that this consideration involves Garden City patients and is informed by their feedback.’

A decision has not yet been made, with the CCG aiming to be able to consider an options appraisal for the future of the practice at a meeting of the Primary Care Commissioning Committee next month.

Patients have until 5 August to share their feedback.

Dr Al-Dubbaisi, 59, was the eighth GP to die with Covid-19. He was remembered by colleagues as a ‘compassionate and experienced GP’ who was a popular member of the GP community in Bury and had worked at Garden City Medical Centre for many years.

Those from the local area also lined the streets as a mark of respect on his funeral day.