A GP practice in Southend-on-Sea is closing one of its two branches as the building it’s housed in has been deemed no longer fit for purpose.
Pall Mall surgery decided to close its branch based in Southbourne Grove following a primary care committee meeting on 19 September during which it emerged that the practice would have needed considerable refurbishment to meet the health and safety, fire and Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements.
The site will close on 30 November.
According to the primary care commissioning committee papers, more than £20,000 woulx be needed to carry out the works at the practice.
The Pall Mall partners took over the management of Southbourne Grove Surgery, based in Southbourne Grove, on 20 September 2017, becoming the tenants of the practice’s sole practitioner Dr Krishna Chaturvedi.
NHS Caste Point and Rochford CCG and NHS Southend CCG said in the papers that ‘the Pall Mall partners endeavoured to secure NHS funding to support the premises improvements’, but their request was unsuccessful as the works fall under the landlord’s responsibility, not the tenant.
The committee papers said: ‘Following unsuccessful applications for funding and negotiations with Dr Chaturvedi as the landlord, the practice has submitted an application to close this branch site.’
All staff working at the Southbourne Grove site were made aware of the changes and are looking forward to working in the surgery’s main site, according to the committee’s papers.
Administration staff had already been working across the two sites over the past year and additional space has been created at Pall Mall’s main site to accommodate additional staff.
GP partner at Pall Mall Surgery Dr Lionel Nagle said: ‘We would like to reassure patients that there will be no reduction in clinical service, in fact there are plans to increase our workforce in 2019.’
He added that the practice will address any concerns from patients, which can be directed to the practice manager.
Elizabeth Mashford, patient representative at Pall Mall GP surgery said: ‘Members of the patient participation group have discussed the proposal to close the Southbourne Grove site and have listened to and understood all the reasons.’