Camden doctors surgery closure provokes protest and public inquiry

Momentum is gathering for a public inquiry into the closure of a privately run doctors’ surgery in Camden which will leave thousands of patients without a GP.

Camden Keep Our NHS Public is fighting to keep Camden Road Practice in Camden Road open after its lease runs out next Friday.

Its managers have failed to find new premises and have rejected the offers of Haverstock Hill doctors to run it temporarily until a new home is found.

This leaves more than 3,000 of the surgery’s 4,700 patients without a new GP.

Last Thursday, campaigners occupied an NHS North Central London board meeting at St Pancras Hospital in St Pancras Way in protest at how the closure has been handled and publicised.

“People are incredibly angry and frustrated,” said Candy Udwin, chairman of Camden Keep Our NHS Public. “We put to them our concerns, but when they wouldn’t listen, there was chanting and shouting and we refused to leave.”

The campaigners insist the board should continue to look for alternative premises.

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The surgery is run privately by The Practice Plc on contract from American medical services giant United Health.

A spokesman for NHS North Central London said board members responded to the campaigners’ concerns for one hour, but then moved on to other matters.

Camden Council is to choose members of a public inquiry into the contract and the running of the surgery at a scrutiny committee meeting next Wednesday.