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Bexley health bosses try to ease council fears over planned Belvedere GP closure

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 December 2018

The Cairgnall Medical Practice. Photo: Google Maps

The Cairgnall Medical Practice. Photo: Google Maps

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NHS bosses have reassured councillors that services will cope once a popular Belvedere doctors’ surgery closes next year.

Cairngall Medical Centre will stop offering GP services in the spring after failure to agree a new tenancy length.

The majority of patients will be absorbed by Belvedere Medical Centre, which has been temporarily running the practice since January.

It was intended for GP services to continue long-term, but the landlord of the site did not commit to this proposal.

As a result, it was announced the practice will stop offering GP services from next March.

Councillors aired concerns at a meeting on Monday, December 10, that patients already feel like they struggle to get appointments in the area.

Nicola Taylor, Erith ward councillor, said at a meeting: “We’ve already been hearing from patients at Belvedere Medical Centre that there has been a deterioration of service. What are you doing to put their minds at rest that this won’t continue?

“Whilst the medical practice say they have sufficient room, the experience of residents is that they can’t get appointments when they need them.”

Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group – the body that oversees local NHS facilities – played down fears that services would not cope.

“Regarding the service levels of Belvedere Medical Centre – we haven’t had complaints on that front but we recognise they are taking on a rather large number of residents because of the proximity of the two,” Nisha Wheeler, director of primary care, said.

“We are doing a lot of work with all the practices near and around Cairngall Medical Practice – we are meeting in Belvedere regularly monthly to talk through ways we can support them and see how we can help them ensure that residents who visit the practice regularly are being told about the various options.

“A letter has been sent out to all patients registered at Cairngall and we have engagement events coming up.

“We recognise there are a number of groups of vulnerable patients who need to be looked after.”

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