A QUARRY Bank councillor has slammed the “thoughtless” closure of a clinic which helps the elderly to stay on their feet.
Dudley PCT bosses say they have shut Quarry Bank Clinic in Sheffield Street, which offers chiropody appointments to the elderly, because it is no longer fit for purpose.
Pensioners who rely on the service to have their toenails cut and corns removed are now being directed to Health and Social Care Centres in Brierley Hill and Stourbridge or The Limes Medical
Practice in Lye High Street.
But Quarry Bank councillor Bryan Cotterill says many of those in need of podiatry treatment, particularly the frail and those battling health problems, will struggle to reach alternative centres.
He said: “It’s thoughtless. This is yet another service that’s been cut that will affect the elderly.
“These decisions are made without any consideration as to how they will affect the people who have to get to these places.
“This service could be the difference between being housebound and not.”
Among those affected by the closure is 91-year-old Cecil Green, of Sun Street, who is registered blind and who also suffers from angina, asthma and diabetes.
His wife Lydia said the alternative health centre in Brierley Hill was just “too far for him to go”.
Walter Hunt, aged 91, of Sheffield Street, used to have a walk of just yards down the street for a chiropody appointment.
Now he faces a bus ride and a ten to 15-minute walk to the Health and Social Care Centre in Brierley Hill.
He said: “It’s ridiculous.”
A spokesman for Dudley PCT said: “The PCT regularly reviews the buildings which we own or hold a lease on to ensure they are fit for modern health service provision.
“On reviewing one of the older properties which we lease, Quarry Bank Clinic, we are of the opinion this building is no longer of a high enough standard to continue providing health services from.
“As a result we have worked with the providers of services within the building to move to more environmentally suitable locations.
“All patients have been communicated with to ensure they are aware of the moves to these new locations.”
A baby clinic, held at Quarry Bank Clinic, is also due to move at the end of June - but only round the corner to Quarry Bank Children’s Centre at Quarry Bank Primary School.
Cllr Cotterill (Labour) is now urging NHS Dudley to offer chiropody appointments at an alternative venue in Quarry Bank for those unable to access alternative centres.
He said: “I’m going to push for some kind of service in Woodhouse Court to do the nails of elderly and disabled people who can’t get to Brierley Hill.”