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NHS England recommended GP practice move to portacabin

Commissioners recommended a GP practice in Essex to move to a portacabin, following ‘emergency’ issues with its premises.

NHS England submitted a proposal – later dropped – for GPs at the 2,700-patient Knight’s Surgery in Basildon to temporarily operate in a portacabin.

The practice had to shut down due to the ‘structural defect’ from a crack in the building, according to a notice on the practice’s website.

As a result, NHs England suggested using a portacabin in a nearby vacant plot, which had been earmarked for the practice’s new building, according to local GPs.

But Basildon Council said this vacant plot was not a ‘viable’ option, so the practice is currently operating from Fryerns Medical Centre, approximately three miles away.

GP partner Dr Subrata Basu from Knight’s Surgery said: ‘We were working from a rundown building and were in discussion with NHS England and Basildon Council to move to a nearby plot. The plot is lying vacant.

He added: ‘We found a crack in the building and the building safety engineers visited the building and found it unsafe. We had to close down and move to a nearby surgery as an emergency measure.

‘NHSE wanted us to temporarily relocate to the plot of land using a portacabin while we plan for a permanent solution.

‘Unfortunately, Basildon Council has now refused to give us this plot of land to build surgery.’

The premise issues came from a building inspection earlier in November, and NHSE, NHS Improvement, NHS East of England, and NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG decided not to reopen Knights Surgery with ‘immediate effect’.

According to a bulletin, ‘all’ possible long-term options are being explored.

Aidan McGurran, Chairman of the external affairs, partnerships and liaison committee councillor for Basildon Borough Council said: ‘We have been working closely with the CCG, surgery and NHS England to identify a permanent replacement facility. One option was a site in Ballards Walk, but following an analysis of this option, it was established that it would not be viable.

‘We are now working with them to find a suitable site for temporary healthcare facilities to ensure any inconvenience to those who use the surgery is kept to a minimum. We will continue to support their efforts to find a permanent solution.’

A spokesperson from Basildon and Brentwood CCG said: ‘Basildon and Brentwood CCG is working with Basildon District Council to identify alternative temporary accommodation for the practice if returning to the current Knights Surgery premises is not a viable option.

‘Meanwhile, the CCG continues to support the practice to help ensure the minimum disruption to patients during this period.’