Patients call for NHS to rethink ‘baffling’ closure of Newbury Park GP surgery

Angry residents outside the surgery

Angry residents outside the surgery - Credit: Archant

Angry patients are calling for the NHS to rethink their “baffling” decision to close a Newbury Park GP surgery and relocate to King George Hospital, when there are more “suitable” premises nearby.

Spearpoint GP Surgery, in Aldborough Road North, closed on Friday and reopened on Monday on the ground floor of the hospital, in Barley Lane, Goodmayes.

NHS England, who made the decision to close the practise, have reassured residents that “no beds or services have been lost as a result of the re-location.”

Resident, Ron Jeffries, will urge Redbridge Council, on behalf of patients, to ask NHS England to reconsider their decision at their next meeting on July 18.

The Spearpoint Gardens, Aldborough Hatch, resident said: “This relocation is totally unacceptable, especially for the large number of elderly residents who are unable to get to King George’s.

“I believe there are a number of more suitable premises close to the old location that could be converted into a modern surgery.”

It is believed that the former building will be converted into a children’s nursery.

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Former Redbridge councillor, Loraine Sladden, said: “At the new surgery phones are ringing off the hook and all you can hear are the staff relaying the message that Spearpoint Surgery has relocated.

“For a Monday morning the waiting room was quiet. As past patients will know this is normally the busiest time and the surgery is normally packed.”

Patients first complained after they were given little of a week’s notice about the relocation.

Cllr Andy Walker added: “Good, local GP services are vital to keeping well which is why the decision to close the surgery is so baffling.

“There is a real risk that a small number of patients will be put off going to King George because of the fare and not wanting to trouble someone for a lift.”

A spokesman for NHS England said “the very short notice given” to patients “was not normal practice.”

“However, this was a complex situation which occurred at a point of major change in the NHS, meaning that until the June 19 we did not know what the final options were,” he added.