‘Outrageous’ decision to relocate Newbury Park GP surgery on Friday criticised by patients

Angry residents outside the surgery

Angry residents outside the surgery - Credit: Archant

The “outrageous” decision to close a doctors surgery in Newbury Park and relocate with little over a week’s notice is “arrogance on the part of the NHS”, according to patients.

Spearpoint GP Surgery, in Aldborough Road North, will close tomorrow (Friday) at noon after opening in the 1930s, and will reopen as part of King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes.

The decision was branded “negligent” by patients who think they should have been informed sooner and that the surgery should have been moved closer to the current site.

Letters have only been received by a handful of patients after they were sent on Wednesday of last week.

Rev Kate Lovesey, of Oaks Lane, Newbury Park, said: “I picked a surgery close to home as I have a daughter who has M.E., which means the difficulties of going anywhere have to be planned carefully. There were rumours of a move several years ago. When I have inquired, staff have denied any talk of a move.”

NHS England decided to relocate the surgery as the lease was due to end on June 30 and the cost of updating the site to comply with Care Quality Commission requirements were “prohibitive.” Rev Lovesey added: “Parking is a nightmare at the hospital and the walk from the car park means it is no longer easily accessible. To have no warning and to just see a sign by chance, without making sure patients have the medication they need, is really negligent.”

Cllr Ruth Clark said: “To shut a surgery with only one week’s notice is outrageous and not good enough.”

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Resident Ron Jeffries of Spearpoint Gardens said: “This action is arrogance on the part of the NHS, lacking in any semblance of understanding for elderly patients.”

A spokesman for NHS England, who knew about the lease ending in March, said: “Due to the tight timescales involved, we were unable to set a final date for moving until we were informed that the premises were ready.”