‘Our doctors are being abused’ claim Brownsover patients

Cllr Claire Edwards, Cllr Mary Webb and Cllr Alan Webb with Brownsover patients
Cllr Claire Edwards, Cllr Mary Webb and Cllr Alan Webb with Brownsover patients

Patients were furious after finding out they could only see their GP if the doctor applied for a job at the temporary centre when their surgery closes.

Brownsover Medical Practice and Albert Street Medical Centre will close on April 17.

A temporary GP system has been put in place for the 6,600 patients in Lower Hillmorton Road and will be run by Beech Tree and Market Quarter Medical Practices for around one year, starting on April 18.

The surgery’s contract was withdrawn due to ‘irreconcilable differences between the doctors at the practice’.

Partners from the surgeries have been told they can apply for jobs at the temporary surgery and will not be transferred automatically.

More than 50 patients attended a public meeting about the changes at The Harvest Centre in Albert Street on Monday.

People depend on that surgery and they are terrified of losing it

Stuart Baldwin, patient at Brownsover Medical Practice

Stuart Baldwin, a patient at the Brownsover practice, said NHS England was not listening to patient concerns.

“Our doctors are being abused and it is disgraceful. They want to carry on as they are but the NHS isn’t listening to them or us. People depend on that surgery and they are terrified of losing it,” he said.

NHS England apologised for the poor communication regarding the closure.

Two of the three partners who run the practice, Dr Kotnani and Dr Dabas, applied to run the temporary service but were unsuccessful. The doctors attended the explosive public meeting.

When challenged by a patient about why the existing surgery was not being used as the temporary site as Dr Kavuri, a partner who owns the Brownsover surgery building, had suggested, Sue Price, director of commissioning for NHS England in the West Midlands, said: “Whatever Dr Kavuri says in this meeting is probably different to what he has been saying up to this point.”

Dr Kavuri replied: “How dare you say that about me. I started this surgery over 30 years ago with my wife and there was just two of us on call day and night. I have offered you the chance to use the surgery building as the temporary site and you have turned it down.

“You said we had internal issues but how did you help us? You can’t just get away with this nonsense. You don’t know about things at grass roots level.”

Dr Kotnani, a partner at the Brownsover surgery, said: “I think the NHS is flogging patients’ concerns and they don’t understand that they want to see the same doctors on the same site. If we had been given the caretaker contract then none of this would be happening. This has become quite an emotional journey and has been a very difficult time. I just want the best for patients and want them to know that we are doing all we can to help.

“What business doesn’t have problems at some point? Rather than give us a year or so to get everything sorted and carry on helping patients, NHS England just took away the contract.”

Brownsover patient Sylvia Barlow said: “The doctors are amazing and I have built a strong relationship with them. They should not be put in this awful position.”

NHS England confirmed it is going ahead with plans for a new medical facility in Hollowell Way, Brownsover.