Patients launch petition to save Ilford surgery

Patients and a residents group have launched a petition against the closure of their surgery when its GP retires at the end of the month.

They have also criticised their local NHS body for not consulting with the 2,700 patients at the Garden Surgery, The Drive, Ilford.

Last week, health bosses rebuffed Cllr Michelle Dunn’s demands for two public meetings over the future of the one-doctor practice.

Dr Branko Kalebic is due to step down on August 31.

Cranbrook Residents’ Association joint chairman Lorraine Silver said there had been no consultation about the plan to close the clinic: “I am furious about this. Dr Kalebic had to give three months’ notice of his retirement, so why did the PCT [NHS Outer North East London] advise patients by letter only one month before, in the middle of the summer holidays?”

She went on to question why the decision had not been referred to the health scrutiny committee at Redbridge Council.

A spokesman for NHS ONEL confirmed Dr Kalebic’s notice had been received at the start of June.

Most Read

He said: “We immediately began talking with the six nearby practices about supporting them to take on patients from the Garden Surgery.

“They were all happy and willing to do so and we will ensure that there are enough appointments available for patients who request them.

“If any patients need further help and advice to register, we are very happy to help.”

The spokesman added NHS ONEL has offered to “fully brief” councillors, but stopped short of offering any further public meetings.

Cllr Dunn said NHS ONEL chief executive Heather Mullin has been called to appear before the health scrutiny committee on September 8. She said: “But by then the surgery will already have closed.”

Mrs Silver and her co-chairman, Vivien Nathan are encouraging patients to sign a petition appealing to the NHS to keep the surgery open. It is in five pharmacies near the surgery.