Frustrated patients may be able to return to their closed GP surgery - five months after they were told it was ‘not a viable option’.
Brownsover Medical Practice, in Bow Fell, closed on April 17 this year, along with its partner surgery, Albert Street Medical Centre, after NHS England ended the contract due to a dispute between the doctors who worked at the practices.
The 6,800 patients were transferred to the new Rugby Town Surgery, run by Beech Tree and Market Quarter Medical Practices, in Lower Hillmorton Road.
Patients were told it was a temporary solution while a new medical centre was built in Brownsover, but plans for a new building are yet to be finalised and NHS England said it could not provide a time-scale at this time.
During public meetings in April, patients pleaded with NHS England officials to let them continue to visit the surgery in Brownsover, which is owned by Dr Kavuri, one of the GPs who worked at the practice, but were told it was ‘not a viable option’.
Now it seems bosses have made a U-turn and intend to do just that, much to the frustration of patients.
David Williams, locality director for NHS England (West Midlands) said: “Our proposal for the short term solution in Brownsover is to use the previous practice premises in Bow Fell until the new development becomes operational.
“This will be in addition to the premises located on Lower Hillmorton Road and will provide a more convenient location for Brownsover residents.
“We are working to progress this and the lease is currently being reviewed by the legal teams. This is anticipated within the next couple of months.”
Jake Stevenson, chairman of Brownsover Patient Action Group, said patients would be pleased to hear they may be able to return to their surgery, but the process had been frustrating.
“The community of Brownsover and the extended area need and deserve first-class facilities based in the heart of the community,” he said.
“There has been much disillusionment with the temporary solution and ‘patient drift’ to other surgeries is testimony to this.”
Chris Bain, chief executive of Healthwatch Warwickshire, said: “This is a situation which could have been prevented. NHS England should have been talking to patients and Healthwatch Warwickshire from day one instead of causing unnecessary delay, incurring costs and creating uncertainty in the process.”
Speaking of the proposed new medical centre, Mr Williams said: “For the longer term a new development on the council-owned land is being progressed and approval is going through the NHS England national approval process. The Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group fully support the development and are fully aware of the status of the scheme.”