A doctors’ surgery in Hove has been closed without notice.
And the landlord – City Estates – has been accused of putting patients’ lives at risk.
Patients arrived at the Eaton Centre in Eaton Gardens, Hove, this morning to find the premises padlocked.
The practice is run by Dr Nigel Higson, who arranged for as many patients as possible to be seen at his other practice nearby, Goodwood Court in Cromwell Road, Hove.
There were though some cancellations among patients who had been due to see the nurse or doctors at the Eaton Centre.
It is not known whether the flu clinic that is scheduled for tomorrow will go ahead or even when the surgery will reopen.
A notice has been posted at the Eaton Villas entrance by City Estates, of The Drive, Hove. City Estates is believed to be linked to controversial property owner Nicholas Hoogstraten.
The notice says: “The landlord has forfeited the lease and re-entered these premises due to non-payment of rent, insurance and service charges.”
Another notice has been posted by the same entrance saying: “The landlord for the Eaton Centre has unilaterally and without the permission of the courts and without just cause has decided that he does not wish us to have access to this property.
“Rent has been paid regularly in advance for these premises and this rent is that agreed between his independent valuers, the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) district valuer and ourselves.
“In acting in this way he is putting patients’ lives at risk and any inconvenience resulting from his action will be pursued legally against him and his various companies under which he operates.
“This matter is in the hands of the police and we hope will be resolved as soon as possible.
“In the meantime we will do our best to provide a full service from our premises at Goodwood Court.”
Sussex Police said: “Police had a call from staff at a surgery in Eaton Gardens, Hove, this morning, regarding a civil dispute with their landlord.
“They were advised that this was not a police matter and that they should call again if there were to be any breach of the peace.
“We heard nothing further.”
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Teaching Primary Care Trust – also known as NHS Brighton and Hove – said: “We are aware that the Eaton Centre, a branch surgery of the Goodwood medical practice, is closed.
“Patients are still able to access primary care services at Goodwood Medical Centre and we will continue working with the contractor to ensure that GP services are resumed at the Eaton Centre as soon as possible.”
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