Petition gathers pace to save Rugby GP surgeries from closure

Cllr Claire Edwards, Cllr Mary Webb and Cllr Alan Webb and patients are trying to keep medical care in Brownsover
Cllr Claire Edwards, Cllr Mary Webb and Cllr Alan Webb and patients are trying to keep medical care in Brownsover

More than 1,000 frustrated patients have signed a petition to save their GP surgeries from closure.

Albert Street Medical Centre and its sister surgery, Brownsover Medical Practice, will close on April 17 after NHS England withdrew the contract due to a dispute between the doctors.

NHS England thinks access to any GP is acceptable but it’s not

Councillor Claire Edwards

The 6,800 patients will be seen at a temporary premises, Rugby Town Surgery run by Market Quarter and Beech Tree Medical Practices, in Lower Hillmorton Road, from April 20 while a new medical centre is built in Brownsover over the next year or so.

Rugby borough councillor Claire Edwards and Warwickshire county councillor Alan Webb, who both represent Brownsover, have started a petition to keep medical care in the area.

“Time is running out and patients are getting very frustrated,” Cllr Edwards said.

“NHS England thinks access to any GP is acceptable but it’s not. It is clear that patients want access to their own GPs and a provision on Brownsover before the new medical centre is built.”

NHS England confirmed searches were ‘on-going’ to find a suitable premises in Brownsover to be used as a temporary surgery.

Dr Kavuri, who owns the surgery building in Brownsover and is the practice’s senior partner, offered to rent the premises to NHS England but was declined. He has applied for a doctor position at the temporary surgery.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey confirmed a report was sent to the Ombudsman for investigation on Tuesday.

“This situation has been handled very poorly,” Mr Pawsey said.

“I want my constituents in Brownsover to receive high quality care in their local area and NHS England has confirmed it is looking for a building to potentially do this.”

Sue Price, director of commissioning for NHS England in the West Midlands, said: “We understand that having a local GP practice is of vital important to patients and we are doing all we can to try and find the right solution for all.”

NHS England said a minibus would be provided to take patients to appointments from Brownsover and priority would be given to those who can’t drive or use public transport.