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Cally Councillors campaigning to keep Roman Way doctors service open

May 23, 2018


The GP service at Roman Way Medical Centre is scheduled for closure in August. And the Cally Labour Councillors have called for a new surgery to be opened in the local community.

The GPs currently running Roman Way are retiring after many years. NHS England has now consulted the surgery’s 4,700 patients on what should happen once the surgery closes.

NHS England has outlined two options – commission another practice or organisation to provide services for patients (eg. a new GP surgery), or to ask patients to register with another nearby practice. Goodinge and Laycock Street have been offered as alternatives.

Cally Labour Councillors – with the support of Islington Council’s leadership – have called for a new GP service to replace the closing practice. One complication is that the Medical Centre building is not owned by the Council or the NHS. Although it was built as part of the Westbourne Estate 40 years ago, the Council sold-off the freehold in 2007 when Islington was controlled by the Lib Dems.

But the west side of the Borough will experience continued increase in population as major housing developments are completed. Cllr Richard Watts (Leader of Islington Council) and Cllr Janet Burgess (Executive Member for Health and Social Care) have urged NHS decision-takers to “take a strategic view of GP provision in the area” and have said Islington Council strongly endorses the option of a new GP surgery to be opened.

Cllr Sara Hyde, Islington Labour councillor for Caledonian ward, said: “Roman Way Medical Centre is a highly valued and much-needed local GP surgery. We’re really sorry to see the surgery closing. What’s important now is that NHS England sees sense and ensures a new practice is opened as close to the current surgery as possible.

“With new housing developments in the local area on the way, including up to 1,000 homes at the Holloway Prison site at some point in the not too distant future, we can’t lose a surgery and expect other small local practices to cope with demand.

“I’m particularly concerned about older and more vulnerable people having to go further to see their doctor. We need to retain a surgery as close to the current practice as possible.”

Cllr Watts’ and Cllr Burgess’ detailed letter supporting the opening of a new GP practice identifies the impact losing a practice would have on patients who are unable to travel further, the expected population growth in the local area and the lack of capacity in neighbouring surgeries to expand. Additional supporting information attached to the letter also makes clear that local planning policies would mean the use of the existing surgery building could not easily be changed if another surgery was not provided, as it would represent a loss or reduction of ‘social infrastructure’.

Cllr Watts and Cllr Burgess have also contacted Islington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to ask them to support the procurement of a new GP practice in the local area.

It is expected that the North Central London Joint Commissioning Committee will make a decision on which option to pursue in June.



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