General News

Green councillors demand answers as another city GP surgery prepares to close

Besi Besemar June 10, 2019

Proposed ‘merger’ and closure of Matlock Surgery will affect local community, say Greens.

GREEN Councillors maintain that plans to close another GP surgery in the city could have a “serious impact,” on the local communities.

Proposals to close Matlock Surgery, Withdean as part of a ‘merger,’ with Beaconsfield Medical Practice in Preston Park were revealed by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) this week following an announcement the lease would not be renewed.

Green Councillors are now calling on the CCG to provide more information on the decision, stressing the impact that another GP closure will have on the local communities and raising concerns that vulnerable or elderly patients will have further to travel to reach their nearest GP.

Greens say the CCG must also provide more detailed information on how another GP closure will affect the capacity of primary care in Brighton and Hove, calling on the council and CCG to detail how any plans could affect access to a GP for local residents.

Investigation by the Green Group of Councillors last year revealed that Brighton and Hove has approximately one GP to every 2,500 patients, with figures released by organisation Healthwatch from 2016-2018 showing the number of GP practices in the city reducing from 44 to 36.

Cllr Sarah Nield
Cllr Sarah Nield

At a recent meeting of the Local Government Association, Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty also raised the issue with Health Secretary Matt Hancock, challenging him to end the primary care crisis in Brighton and Hove.

Green Councillor for Withdean ward and member of the city council Health and Wellbeing Board, Sarah Nield, said: “Matlock Road surgery is right in the heart of a nest of streets, part of a parade of shops serving the local communities. Until recently it had a Post Office, but that has now closed, meaning that residents have to travel for their Post office services. Now the CCG has proposed that the GP surgery must go – which of course will affect the business of the adjacent pharmacy – and we remain concerned that a useful community hub may disappear, forcing local residents to travel further afield for their needs. I’m particularly concerned about how this will affect our elderly or more vulnerable residents.

“While the CCG claim that services will not be affected, I’m also concerned that this may mean we will lose yet another GP surgery in the city – when we are already dealing with a dwindling number of GP surgeries and an appalling GP to patient ratio. As the proposals are still open for review, we welcome news that the CCG will hold public engagement events and we would encourage patients to make their opinion on these changes known. However, Greens will continue to push the CCG for more clarity over their plans for primary care in the city – instead of endless ‘integration’ plans that herald in yet more savings, the needs of our residents and the impact of GP surgery closures on our community must be addressed.” 

Patients currently registered with the practice (and their carers) are invited to attend one of the following events:

♦ Monday, June 17 from 5:45 – 6:45pm, at Exeter Street Hall, 16-17 Exeter Street, Brighton, BN1 5PG.

♦ Monday, June 24 from 10:45 – 11:45pm, at Church of the Good Shepherd, 272 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 5AE.

Or by post marked ‘Merger’, to one of the following addresses:

♦ Matlock Road Surgery, 10 Matlock Road, Brighton, BN1 5BF or Primary Care Team, Brighton and Hove CCG, Hove Town Hall, BN3 4AH •

Or by email to with ‘Merger’ written in the subject heading •

Or by leaving a message on 01273 238733.