The RCGP has lodged an objection to the Government’s planned High Speed 2 rail link because of concerns building works next to its Euston-based headquarters will have a ‘huge detrimental impact’ on general practice, depriving the NHS of ‘thousands of new GPs’.
The college has petitioned MPs to stop the £50bn HS2 scheme on the grounds the construction will cause ‘unacceptable and direct disturbance’ which threatens its ability to run the MRCGP exam, as well as its financial viability.
The petition, signed by RCGP honorary treasurer Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, said the building at 30 Euston Square, next to Euston station, was purchased before the HS2 plans were published, and has been refurbished to offer ‘unique examination facilities’ as well as a conference centre and 41 study bedrooms.
Dr Stokes-Lampard said the college is ‘immediately, and potentially catastrophically threatened’ by the current plans, the Camden New Journal had reported.
She said: ‘The proposed works pose serious threats of long-term disturbance and disruption to… the activities of the RCGP, most importantly the examination for new GP trainees’.
‘Were the examinations not able to run due to the disturbance caused by HS2 this would mean that the UK would be deprived of thousands of new GPs each year. This would have a huge detrimental impact for the future delivery of general practice and primary care throughout the UK.’
Dr Stokes-Lampard added: ‘Without adequate compensation and mitigation measures being put in place, HS2’s plans threaten the financial viability of the RCGP’s use of its recently established headquarters.’
The college had previously admitted that in a ‘worst-case’ scenario it could even be evicted from the building if the HS2 bill went ahead.