Withdrawal of Fairfield healthcare provision ‘putting more pressure on surgeries’

Sure Start Centre, Fairfield
Sure Start Centre, Fairfield

Fairfield councillors are calling for urgent discussions to reinstate a healthcare provision in Fairfield – which was withdrawn last Friday with just a day’s notice.

Until recently an advanced nurse practitioner was based full-time at the Fairfield Sure Start Centre, with GPs from each of Buxton’s three medical centres also providing cover.

Derbyshire county councillor Caitlin Bisknell said: “One of the first campaigns I was involved in with the residents of Fairfield was to bring much-needed health facilities to the area.

“It now plays a vital role at the heart of the community and has been a real lifeline for many people.”

The advanced nurse practitioner post holder left at the end of March, and the service has since been withdrawn without public consultation.

Now the GPs have withdrawn their services too - citing issues regarding lack of access to medical records and the inability to print medical prescriptions.

Labour councillor Bisknell, alongside her colleagues David Kerr, Rachael Quinn and Fiona Sloman, are now calling for urgent action to resolve the situation, and for the whole community to be consulted on any proposals.

They said: “This closure (of the service) is bad for the people of Fairfield – and the rest of Buxton – as it is putting even more pressure on the town’s surgeries.”

Dr Ben Milton, Chair of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for North Derbyshire, said: “The CCG acknowledges the need for thorough public engagement but also appreciates the practices’ concerns about patient safety.

“Therefore the practices and the CCG are continuing to work together and we will consult with the public about possible solutions.”

Patients who have GP appointments scheduled at the Fairfield Sure Start Centre have been informed and new appointments made in one of the other three main Buxton practices.

Cllr Bisknell added: “We will be working with our residents to do all we can to get the services back.”