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GPs' plea goes down the toilet

A practice that asked its PCT for £2,000 to build disabled toilets has been told its premises will have to be demolished and rebuilt instead.

GPs at the Ashdown Forest Health Centre in East Grinstead, East Sussex, were left in a state of shock at Sussex Downs and Weald PCT's response to their attempt to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

Dr Alison Fyfe, a GP at the surgery, said the situation had spiralled out of control. She said: 'It's a lovely, 26-year-old building that a local architect designed – it's hardly like we're in a portable building.

'We were never consulted about a rebuild – the first we knew was when another partner went to a meeting and someone casually mentioned it.

'Next thing, a man came round proposing to put in a lift and extend upstairs, but there's only a tearoom up there.'

She added: 'We don't want a new health centre, and we do not want to be in temporary accommodation for months. All we asked for were some disabled toilets and a partition wall for an extra consultation room.'

Sussex Downs and Weald PCT is almost £4 million in debt. It told Pulse it did not 'anticipate' the rebuild being NHS LIFT-funded. It said the decision was made because the practice was overcrowded and it was not cost-effective to make 'piecemeal structural changes'.

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