Written by Gareth Joy

Penarth: talks continue on healthcare hub plan

20th November 2021

Local health chiefs say more talks will be needed on a proposed healthcare hub for eastern parts of the Vale.

Cardiff and Vale health board and Vale Council are considering how to deliver primary care services in Penarth, following the Albert Road Surgery's decision to close.

Last month, three GPs at the practice said they would hand back their GMS (General Medical Services) contract and end services on 18th March 2022.

The surgery has been told to move out of its premises by the landlord.

In a joint statement, the two authorities said they have ''committed to explore options to maintain GP services for the local community from April 2022.''

They added: ''Patients will continue to access primary care services at Albert Road Surgery until 18 March 2022.''

''In the meantime, we will keep the local community updated with details of future provision of health care as we work through a sustainable solution. We would like to reiterate that no patients in this area will lose access to GP services.''

A local healthcare hub was first earmarked for the Penarth Leisure Centre at Cogan two years ago, bringing together services for areas including Dinas Powys and Llandough.

The Albert Road practice was also due to move to the new centre.

The health board said work is continuing to finalise a business case for the healthcare hub. They stated its ''focus of bringing care closer to home and staying within the local community is part of the longer-term primary care ambitions.'' 

The county council is also supporting the plans in principle - but both parties said: ''It is important to reiterate this is a medium-term option and will require further discussion with the Vale of Glamorgan Council, as well as the necessary planning and approval processes and ongoing engagement with key stakeholders and the community as the plans progress.''

The statement concluded: ''The UHB (university health board) would like to thank the community for their patience during this time and can reassure patients that we are committed to resolving this to meet the sustainable health care needs of the local population in Penarth.''

Meanwhile, the Albert Road surgery has sought to reassure patients they can still access GP services until the practice closes in March.

A spokesperson said: ''At this moment in time, patients do not need to do anything and can continue to see their GP and access services as normal.''

''We appreciate this may cause our patients some distress and anxiety but patients do not need to register at another practice in the area, as this could cause disruption to services.''

''We would like to reiterate that no patients in this area will lose access to GP services and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board will keep patients informed and updated as soon as they are able to do so.''

The surgery has also asked patients with any questions about the closure to contact the Cardiff and Vale health board or the South Glamorgan Community Health Council directly.

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