The Havering Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs) held its first public meeting at the Mungo Park (South End Road) Medical Centre to explain the need for patients to register elsewhere, on Wednesday 12th of February.
The resident and only GP is retiring within a couple of months and over 3,000 patients have been written to requesting they register at GP practices further afield which for some will be a much longer journey.
If it ultimately closes there will be over 3,200 residents that will have to be distributed to other surgeries.
At the meeting, the Centre was full of residents expressing their concern and fears of being told to register elsewhere because the only GP will be retiring on the 31st of March.
Despite knowing this was a possibility three years ago but for certain last December, the CCG has been unable to find a replacement.
Residents complained about the South being the ‘poor’ relation of the borough, the threat of a large scale population increase, the failure to place GP’s in Orchard Village and the possible retirement of other GP’s in the area, and fears for the very future of the Centre. For many elderly patients moving to another practice will be physically challenging.
The CCG representatives claimed that they were presently unable to find a GP to move in and they were obliged to relocate patients. They stated that they were still looking but residents were sceptical that enough was being done or at that the Centre will even remain open.
South Hornchurch Independent Residents Councillor Graham Williamson urged the CCG at the meeting to try harder to keep the Centre open and recruit a replacement GP.
He said “I share the residents’ concerns. With a rising population, reducing services are going to increase the delays for appointments. This was not what was promised!
He added “The high costs of renting space in the Centre for a GP needs to be looked at and the CCG/NHS need to agree on a generous settlement that minimises exorbitant costs that may be putting off GP’s moving there. We need the Surgery fully manned!”
Councillor Williamson urges residents to write to the CCG Managing Director (Ceri Jacob) via firstname.lastname@example.org calling for the organisation to do whatever is necessary to put a GP into the Mungo Park SurgeryHe also said that the CCG had agreed to organise a meeting next Thursday 20th of February 3.30-5.pm and an additional one for those working on Thursday 27rh from 5.30-7 pm.
Patients are urged to attend one of the above meetings.