GUEST COLUMN: Everything being done to stop Underwood GP closure, by Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero

MP Gloria De Piero
MP Gloria De Piero

Having a local GP practice that you trust and can rely on is extremely important.

That is why so many Underwood residents are worried about what would happen if the village’s surgery ceases to exist.

I would like to assure residents that everything is being done to make sure that this does not happen.

Firstly, a request to close the surgery following the retirement of Dr Rajah has been rejected by the Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group.

The surgery is open as normal with locum cover and a new GP will start on May 1.

Discussions about finding alternative premises in the village, which would help the surgery to become more financially stable, are also ongoing.

And, I have written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to seek assurances that Underwood’s GP service will be maintained so that the elderly, disabled and vulnerable patients who use the surgery do not have to travel to Jacksdale to see their doctor.

Staying with health, mental health care in this country has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons following the publication of a new NHS report.

Mental health problems are widespread, disabling, and often hidden: shockingly they are the biggest cause of disability in the UK.

Drastic improvements in mental health care are needed, not least because there has been severe under-investment in these services in recent years.

According to Remploy, the provider of disability employment, one in six workers in Ashfield experiences depression, anxiety or unmanageable stress at any one time.

They are at real risk of leaving work due to their problems, so Remploy is offering a free ‘Access to Work’ mental health support service to help people stay in their jobs.

This service is open to anyone who has a mental health condition and is in employment or on sickness absence.

Call 0300 4568114 or email if you think it could help you.

I wanted to let you know about a great new initiative that I would encourage our local schools to sign up to.

In the coming years there will be some excellent career opportunities for youngsters who learn how to create new computer programmes and design new technology.

The soon-to-launch BBC micro:bit aims to help children learn these skills.

It is a pocket-sized, codeable computer which will bring the new computer curriculum to life - and it is free to all year seven students if their schools register.

A website containing all the information is available at

If you need help or advice then give me a call on 01623 720 399 or email