PENARTH'S Albert Road Surgery finally closed for good on Friday, March 18, after a long battle to save it.

The surgery was earmarked for closure after the property was sold on by the doctors who owned it.

Patients registered at the surgery have been re-allocated to other surgeries in Penarth and Dinas Powys.

This has prompted calls from some residents as to why the Welsh Government and the health board did not step in to save the surgery.

Local MS and economy minister Vaughan Gething - who is also a former Welsh Government health minister - is the main target of blame from some residents.

Max Wallis, a former patient, said: "The health board and the former health minister are to blame - the health minister for setting up a system in which this could happen.

"He (Vaughan Gething) lives near the surgery, could see what was happening and did nothing to stop it."

But, saying "I understand the significant disruption", Mr Gething said that "neither the Heath Board or Welsh Government could force the sale of the building to them".

Mr Wallis had met with various officials to see what could be done about the surgery, including proposals to move it to another site.

However he said he had been told by the Primary Care Team that they had not been looking at alternative premises as it was 'not their job'.

"They pretended they were trying to do something about it and then said 'we're doing nothing' and wash their hands of it," said Mr Wallis.

"A complete failure by public authorities."


Another former patient who opposed the closure of the surgery, Max Scott-Cook, also blames Mr Gething for the situation.

Mr Scott-Cook said: "Mr Vaughan Gething, if you were the health secretary, and you were the MS of the of the people in the surgery, why did you not know and why was something not done?

"You promised me for three months to get in touch and you haven't done.

"You should have intervened and kept that surgery there."

Mr Scott-Cook also spoke of how some people, though assigned a new surgery, may not be able to attend their new surgery.

He also claims there has been a lack of responsibility taken for Albert Road Surgery and said "it seems to me that it was a situation that no one wanted to take on".

However, despite the anger that follows the surgery being closed, Mr Scott-Cook praised the staff at the surgery.

He said he believes the staff there were exceptional, especially Dr Leppik, and did all they could to help the patients they had while the surgery was open.

Mr Gething said: "I understand the significant disruption caused to patients as a result of the closure of the Albert Road practice.

"I myself have also been a patient at Albert Road.

"I have engaged with the health board, councillors and members of the public through an unsettling time. 

"Former partners decided to sell the building and neither the Heath Board or Welsh Government could force the sale of the building to them.

"I would like to thank Dr Leppik and the team for their service in difficult circumstances."