Officials could be making a U-turn on plans to close a Brownsover surgery after ‘verbally agreeing’ to draft a lease for the same practice building – and patients may be seen by the same doctor.
Brownsover Medical Practice and Albert Street Medical Centre will close today (Friday) and a new medical centre will be built in Brownsover.
I am very concerned at the uncertainty and disquiet felt by the patients of Brownsover due to the upheaval of their GP practiceDr Kavuri
The 6,800 patients will be transferred to the new Rugby Town Surgery, run by Beech Tree and Market Quarter Medical Practices, in Lower Hillmorton Road.
As of Monday, patients will be seen at the Lower Hillmorton Road site during building work as planned, but this may change if a Brownsover surgery deal is reached.
Dr Kavuri, who owns the Brownsover building and was one of the GPs there, said NHS England ‘verbally agreed’ at a recent meeting to draft a contract to lease the Brownsover building.
This could mean that patients are seen at the Brownsover practice after all – and Dr Kavuri could still work there. He has been interviewed for a ‘caretaker doctor’ position and is awaiting the decision.
Dr Kavuri said: “I am very concerned at the uncertainty and disquiet felt by the patients of Brownsover due to the upheaval of their GP practice. I’m pleased to confirm that NHS England have agreed finally that they will draft a contract to lease my Brownsover premises at a current market rent.
“Now, if my application to be employed by the caretaker practice at Brownsover is accepted, we should be able to provide a seamless service for Brownsover patients until the new medical centre promised by NHS England is available.”
Dr Francis Campbell, associate medical director for NHS England in the West Midlands, said: “Discussions between NHS England and Dr Kavuri regarding a possible lease agreement on the current Brownsover GP surgery site continue due to a number of conditions being attached to a potential lease agreement.
“We are continuing to work with the caretaker practice to communicate with patients about developments and over the last five weeks, we have proactively arranged five patient group meetings to continue these conversations. The caretaker practice is also in the process of setting up a Patient Participation Group.
“We would like to assure patients that we are doing all we can to ensure a smooth transition of GP services.”
Jake Stevenson, a patient at the surgery and chairman of the newly-formed Brownsover Patient Action Group, said patients had been ignored throughout the process.
“Communication from start to finish has been appalling. The surgery closes tomorrow and no one knows how to make an appointment, how to access the free transport that is apparently on offer or who their doctors will be, and that’s awful.”
NHS England confirmed a new medical centre will be built in Brownsover in around one year.
“We, as an elected patient group, want to be involved with the plans of the new medical centre but so far NHS England hasn’t responded to our request,” Mr Stevenson added.
More than 1,500 people have signed a petition to keep medical care in Brownsover while they wait for the new medical centre to be built.