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GP faces closure after delays in premises funding

Prominent ‘media medic’ Dr Rosemary Leonard’s practice faces potential closure after delays in approving their bid for funding to move from current premises, which has been declared ‘unfit for purpose’.

Dr Rosemary Leonard, a GP in Dulwich Village, London, has yet to hear from NHS England on a bid to develop new premises that was first submitted to PCT Property in December 2012.

Dr Leonard told Pulse her practice been given an end-of-March deadline for the partners to secure the funding by the developers or face the whole project being scrapped.

But NHS England said that the bid was ‘currently being reviewed’ and would have to meet their aspirations for primarty care and be cost effective.

She said: ‘We sent in our initial draft business plan to what would then have been PCT Property in December 2012. We didn’t get the comments back until December 2013. It took a year to get the comments back to us to be told the draft needed re-doing.’

‘I then completely rewrote the 50-page business plan and managed to get it back to NHS England within six weeks. We still have no timescale from them about when they are going to be making a decision. It has been an incredibly vague, long-winded process.’

She added: ‘We are in a situation where, if we don’t get urgent approval [of our bid], our surgery will just close.’

A spokesperson for NHS England London said: ‘The application for new premises to house the Rosendale Road Practice has not been refused, however we are working with the practice to develop their proposals. These are currently being reviewed. London’s GP services are under increasing pressure, with factors such as a growing and ageing population, and more people living with long-term conditions.’

‘We want to make it easier for Londoners to get better care when they need it, including offering GP appointments in the evenings and at weekends, and more diagnostic services such as x-rays and blood tests in one place. Any proposed changes to GP services, including the development of new premises, must be able to meet these aspirations and be cost effective.’