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Award winning GP practice set to close

The award-winning Wilson health centre in Mitcham, London, is to close on 31 March, displacing around 6,000 patients, to be replaced by a ‘state of the art health and wellbeing facility’.

The health centre won the General Practice of the Year award at the General Practice Awards in 2011. 

The practice is closing because the contract to run services there, currently held by Concordia health, a company running five GP practices in London, runs out in March.

The site of the practice is set to be redeveloped into ‘a state of the art health and wellbeing facility’ according to Merton CCG so the contract cannot be extended.

In its FAQs, Merton CCG said ‘this decision to close is in no way related to the care provided or the performance of Concordia Health and the Wilson Health centre team’.

A walk-in centre also operates from the site. The contract to provide that service also ends on 31 March.

A statement from the CCG to Pulse said: ‘As both contracts are coming to the end of their contract period this is an opportune time to review what were both set up as temporary services. In addition the temporary premises currently used to provide the services will need to be vacated as the site is subject to a plan for redevelopment. ‘

The CCG said: ‘We have been developing proposals for two GP access hubs (one in the east and one in the west) and enhanced access to appointments in existing GP practices to ensure access to general practice is available 8am to 8pm 7 days a week‘.

The local MP for Mitcham and Morden, Siobhain McDonagh, brought up the practice in Parliament, asking: ‘If the PM really believes that GP surgeries should be open seven-days a week, 12 hours a day, would she be my guest at a residents’ meeting against Department of Health diktats which will close the 6,000 strong Mitcham Wilson surgery.

‘Even better – could she tell her Government to stop cuts to GP services which force thousands to attend hard-pressed A&Es, like those at St.George’s and St Helier or is she happy to oversee the possible collapse of the NHS on her watch?’