AN UPPER Dales surgery has been left frustrated with the slow pace of its ability to get connected to high speed broadband.

The Central Dales Practice, at the Aysgarth Surgery, remains the only practice within the Hambleton Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) not to benefit from Superfast Broadband – despite a new Superfast North Yorkshire fibre cabinet being installed just yards from the surgery.

Dr Adrian Jones, a senior partner at the Central Dales Practice, which also has a practice in Hawes, said: “We are unable to meet CCG requirements with IT at this site, and our patients remain disadvantaged by lack of such services such as e-referrals and chose and book.

“Facilities such as WiFi, essential for the community teams and district nurses, is unusable and remains switched off.

“Initiatives designed to improve quality of prescribing and save the NHS money slow the clinical system, making them unworkable.

“It is often difficult to access e-mails are unusable as they slow the clinical system.”

Dr Jones said while all other practices in the CCG were connected, the surgery was led to believe it also would be connected to high speed internet as a matter of urgency when the service became available.

Richmond MP Rishi Sunak has also voiced his frustration and disappointment that the surgery was not yet able to benefit from the superfast broadband.

Mr Sunak, who launched the Aysgarth cabinet on March 4, said: “You would think that whatever work needed to be done would have been by NHS England to ensure the connection got up and running.

“I will be writing to NHS England to urge them to allow the surgery to be connected as soon as possible.”

North Yorkshire County Councillor for the Upper Dales Cllr John Blackie said: “Dales residents are already disadvantaged when it comes to health provision due to their location.

“The inclusion of Aysgarth in the Superfast Broadband cabinet programme was announced in September last year so I question why the NHS did not make the necessary arrangements to connect it up immediately when it came online."

Janet Probert, chief officer for NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG said: “The CCG understand that the Aysgarth area is connected to Superfast Broadband.

“eMBED Health Consortium IT team are working closely with BT to investigate the possibility of the link being connected directly to the building.

“I know that the practice is very much looking forward to the increased broadband speeds which will allow them to make full use of their systems and internal WiFi and this will be of enormous benefit to both staff and patients.”