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Longstanding GP practice to be turned into flats

Local residents in an area of Leicester are trying to block a planning application to turn their old GP surgery into residential property.

The protest, which is in response to a planning application made to the council, comes after the practice relocated following the retirement of the GP contract holder last year. Residents were still holding out hope the old surgery could be reinstated with new GPs running it.

Speaking to the Leicester Mercury, retired GP Dr Jatin Patel said he was sad that he had not been able to find anyone to take over the practice within the premises, where it was launched by his own father.

Dr Patel said: ‘My intention was always to serve the local population and I was there for 30 years. When I retired, I left thinking the surgery would continue but due to circumstances beyond my control it was decided the surgery wasn’t fit for purpose.

‘I felt distraught and that I had let patients down. It has saddened me deeply as the surgery was started by my father.’

The practice, which had 8,000 patients on its list, moved from Melbourne Road and into the Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre last year.

A council report seen by the Leicester Mercury said: ‘While there have been a high level of objections, refusing the application will not guarantee that a user for the premises as a medical centre will come forward.’

Pulse recently revealed as part of the Stop Practice Closures campaign that thousands of patients have already been forced to find a new GP because of closures around the UK.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Infact it's not surprising.There is an unprecedented housing crisis in Leicester due to the heavy influx of migrants into that city.I'm all for recycling.

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  • Why are GB public so obsessed with buildings?
    If the practice has moved to new premesis in an urban area who cares?
    It's not about the number of buildings, it's about the quality of care.

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  • In deprived areas quality of care is closely linked to proximity - for the frail and those with young children. For many they would happily forego the architectural masterpiece health centre with bells and whistles for a local practice with doctors and nurses.

    Big health centres are often a few miles away - and for those who find 400m a struggle, that is too far.

    Local access also ensures GP's know their patients and areas, this mantra of federating is destructive.

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  • Load of rubbish. What's the point having lots of old go practices slightly nearer but no resources for staff? The same public that whinges about proximity to health services manages to keep large supermarkets in business. In urban areas there are too many practices.
    The contract should have the building payment included in the patient payment, thus incentivising practices who attract patients.

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  • patients get better building, retired GP gets loads of money for selling premesis...and he's deeply saddened?

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  • I sold my surgery building for return to housing and am very happy with the boost to my pension-4000 patients went to other practices--and I am very happy in locum GP land by the sea

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  • If the building is not required as a surgery does it really matter who buys it or what they do with it?

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  • makes sense as the current view (including the RCGP) is that GP work can be done by everyone else so why bother with GPs ? it's amusing that we get asked to do non-clinical work (loneliness, boiler patrol etc etc) but the 'wise heads' feel that the clinical stuff can be done by everyone else. So be it. The best thing that can happen is a collapse in NHS primary care - this will open the door to those left standing to provide services directly to consumers / clients / public / patients.

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