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CCG drops controversial plans to relocate practice to hospital following pressure

A London CCG has dropped controversial plans to move a 7,000-patient GP practice to a hospital following local protest.

Barnet CCG previously proposed to relocate Ravenscroft Medical Centre to Finchley Memorial Hospital after failing to fill the space for more than seven years, costing the NHS around £180,000 a year.

The move was heavily contested, with the LMC saying the approval of the relocation ‘flies in the face’ of the majority of patient consultation responses opposing the move to the hospital premises 3.2 miles away from the current location.

But Barnet CCG announced earlier this week that the relocation will no longer go ahead, after Millway Medical Practice and Lane End Medical Group – set to work with Ravenscroft Medical Centre in the new building – decided to pull out.

The CCG said Milway Medical Practice’s decision to withdraw its application to provide ‘a range of innovative primary care services’ for patients Finchley Memorial hospital changes ‘the nature of the project materially’.

Emma Davis, who had been helping with the campaign to keep the practice open, said: ‘All the patients at Ravenscroft Medical Centre owe a long-lasting debt of gratitude to Dr Brian Golden and his retired colleague, Dr Paul Blom, for saving the surgery in Golders Green Road. The timing of the Barnet CCG’s change of heart regarding the closure, coincidence or not, was only when Dr Golden brought the Barnet CCG face to face with the prospect of a judicial review.’

Dr Barry Subel, GP partner at Ravenscroft Medical Centre said: ‘I am extremely disappointed with this outcome. I was looking forward to the opportunity to develop new and innovative services for my patients to improve patient care both in the community and at Finchley Memorial Hospital. However, patients are my first priority and I remain completely committed to continuing to provide excellent clinical care for my patients.’

Barnet CCG chief operating officer Kay Matthews said: ‘The CCG’s priority is Dr Subel’s patients. We would like to assure them that there will be no change to their GP service, which will continue to be provided by Dr Subel and his excellent staff at Ravenscroft Medical Centre.’

Elsewhere in London, a GP principal handed back his contract over staff shortages because of ‘silly’ CCG meetings he was forced to attend.