Maddock Way GP Surgery on the Brandon Estate has been saved after another GP successfully pitched to take over the practice.
At a crunch meeting on Tuesday, held by Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group, Penrose Surgery presented a business case for taking over the Cooks Road premises when incumbent GP Dr Sinha retires in March 2020.
The CCG approved the decision, meaning the surgery will remain open for at least another 2-3 years, full time rather than part-time as at present, until Manor Place Terrace a larger development Penrose Surgery is expanding into, is ready to open.
In a statement to the News, Newington ward councillors Eleanor Kerslake, Alice MacDonald and James Coldwell said: “We are really pleased about this resolution. It was always the wrong decision to effectively close Maddock Way GPs with only a few months’ notice.
“We are grateful that the CCG has listened to the many patients, residents and campaigners and have worked with us all to find a good solution.
We thank Penrose GPs for their commitment to the area and are hopeful that they will be able to keep existing staff on.”
Neil Coyle MP, who had campaigned for the surgery to stay open alongside ward councillors, said it was “great news for patients”.
“They will now have better hours on the same site and won’t have to travel further. Yvonne’s campaign and the hard work of councillors has made a big difference and they all deserve praise.
“The CCG listened and acted, thankfully, but must examine how they oversee other retirements going forward.”
A spokesperson for NHS Southwark CCG said: “Our Primary Care Commissioning Committee today approved the business case for Penrose Surgery to have the rent and rates funded by the NHS to enable them to take on the lease of the property currently being used by Maddock Way Surgery.
“The decision to approve Penrose Surgery’s proposal was made in light of feedback from patients and local residents and the benefits the expansion will bring to existing Penrose Surgery patients and to patients who would like to be able to continue to access GP services on the Brandon Estate.”
Patients will still need to register with another practice, but if they chose Penrose Street after May they will be able to access the service at the Cooks Road building.
As the News has reported, a petition to keep the surgery open after patients were told to re-register elsewhere as it was unlikely another provider would be interested in taking over a practice with just 3,000 patients on its books. A petition to re-assess, set up by receptionist Yvonne Arnould, was signed by more than 2,000 residents.
Formal CCG papers, published in advance of the decision, described how: “On many occasions the CCG was informed collectively and/or on a one to one basis that the patients have lived on the estate for 40 years-plus and had seen many shops and services disappear from the estate.”