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Doctor's surgery saved: NHS bosses back down over 'absolute scandal' 3 mile move

PUBLISHED: 13:01 25 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:43 25 October 2019

Save Our Surgery campaigners outside Ravenscroft Medical Centre 166-168 Golders Green Road NW11, ahead of a patients meeting at the practice. Pictured left campaigner Stephen Colman and second right Emma Davis. Picture: Polly Hancock

Save Our Surgery campaigners outside Ravenscroft Medical Centre 166-168 Golders Green Road NW11, ahead of a patients meeting at the practice. Pictured left campaigner Stephen Colman and second right Emma Davis. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Campaigners in Golders Green are celebrating after NHS bosses backed down over moving their local doctor's surgery three miles.

Ruth Eisenfeld, a Holocaust survivor who has spoken out against the relocation of the Ravenscroft Medical Centre. Picture: Polly HancockRuth Eisenfeld, a Holocaust survivor who has spoken out against the relocation of the Ravenscroft Medical Centre. Picture: Polly Hancock

The move, approved by Barnet CCG in late August, would have seen the Ravenscroft Medical Centre in Golders Green Road close its doors and move wholesale to an empty space in Finchley Memorial Hospital - where Barnet CCG has been looking to fill space costing it £180,000 a year

But the move was fiercely fought by members of the community including local Rabbis, Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer, and a number of Holocaust survivors - not to mention 86pc of respondents (almost 1,000 people and around 13pc of the practice's patient list) to a patient consultation.

This week, Mike Freer met with Health Secretary Matt Hancock who was to raise the issue with NHS England, but it is not known whether this had taken place before the CCG backed down.

Mr Freer welcomed the news. He told this newspaper: ""The announcement is great news for the local community. It has been a terrific example of where local residents coming together can make a real difference.

The Ravenscroft Medical Centre, 166-168 Golders Green Road NW11. Picture: Polly HancockThe Ravenscroft Medical Centre, 166-168 Golders Green Road NW11. Picture: Polly Hancock

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"I was delighted to support my constituents in this campaign."

Dr Brian Golden, the former senior partner at the practice and one of the lead campaigners, told this newspaper: "It's great news for patients and for Golders Green, the practice will continue as it was."

Despite the opposition, the move was approved, but both of the GP practices who were to work with RMC in the new building - Millmay and Lane End practices - pulled out and Dr Golden led campaigners in seeking a Judicial Review. He served notice of this on October 4, but had yet to receive a response, until CCG lawyers revealed they would not seek to defend the move in the High Court.

The CCG said the decision was taken when Millway pulled out, on October 21. A spokesperson said they "completely respected" that it was a decision for the Mill Hill based surgery to make.

Dr Barry Subel, the practice's current senior partner said: "I am extremely disappointed with this outcome. I was looking forward to the opportunity to develop new and innovative services for my patients to improve patient care both in the community and at Finchley Memorial Hospital.

However, patients are my first priority and I remain completely committed to continuing to provide excellent clinical care for my patients."

Kay Matthews, the CCG's chief operating officer, said: "The CCG's priority is Dr Subel's patients. We would like to assure them that there will be no change to their GP service, which will continue to be provided by Dr Subel and his excellent staff at Ravenscroft Medical Centre."

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