Ravenscroft Medical Centre: Patient anger over plans to relocated Golders Green doctors' surgery to Finchley
PUBLISHED: 08:15 08 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:00 08 January 2019
Patients at a Golders Green doctors' surgery are angry at plans for its potential relocation to Finchley Memorial Hospital.
Ravenscroft Medical Centre has served Golders Green since the NHS came into being in 1948, but its users are now concerned about losing the practice for good.
Barnet Clinical Commisioning Group is later this month to open a public consultation over a controversial scheme which will see Ravenscroft join with two other GPs practices to run a ‘super-clinic’ from premises at Finchley Memorial Hospital.
While the other two surgeries – Millway Medical Practice and Lane End Medical Group – will retain their existing premises, Ravenscroft will close in Golders Green and move wholesale to the hospital.
Patients are worried the move, more than two miles north-east, will make visiting the practice harder, especially for the elderly and those with mobility concerns.
One patient, Jean Davis, 72, lives around the corner from the practice. She has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which can make walking considerable distances difficult and is also recovering from a fall. She told the Ham&High she was concerned at being forced to travel several miles if she wished to keep her current doctor and said: “I’m able to walk to the practice when I need to go each week, but can’t do that to go to Finchley Memorial. What are they going to do for people in that situation?”
Another practice user, Freda Brobby, added: “I believe that to move this surgery to Finchley is not a move at all, but a closure as the potential new site is well over 3 miles away. [By road.]”
She said it was “disgraceful” to make vulnerable pensioners fork out for transport to Finchley.
Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer said: “I know this is a matter of concern for those who use the centre, however the proposed move is being driven by the GP and patients will need to persuade him to abandon his plans during the forthcoming public consultation.”
The MP confirmed he will be raising the matter with Barnet CCG.
A spokesperson from Barnet CCG said: “It’s important to understand that this is not a practice closure and that we will consult with patients before any proposal is finalised.”
They explained the plan for Finchley Memorial had always involved finding a tenant GPs’ surgery because of “benefits it will bring to patients and the local community”.
They added: “If the practice does relocate, there will be no change in the level of quality care patients currently receive; patients will continue to see the same doctors and nurses.”
Patients are expected to be consulted from later in January.