Two doctors’ surgeries in Hove have been ordered to close with immediate effect, leaving 10,000 patients without a GP.
Goodwood Court Medical Centre, in Palmeira Place, by the corner of Cromwell Road, and its Eaton Gardens branch surgery, by the corner of Eaton Villas, were told to stop seeing patients at once.
The closure came yesterday (Tuesday 9 June) after a three-day unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Inspectors found that the practice was “so inadequate as to potentially represent a risk to patients so great that unprecedented and urgent action should be taken”.
The CQC – along with NHS England and the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – had shared concerns that the two surgeries were failing to provide essential services to patients.
In a letter NHS England said: “The CQC’s investigations confirmed the collective concerns that the practice was not providing an acceptable service to patients.
“The service was assessed as being so inadequate as to potentially represent a risk to patients so great that unprecedented and urgent action should be taken.
“As a result the CQC determined that an urgent cancellation of the practice’s CQC registration was necessary in order to protect the safety and welfare of patients.
“The CQC therefore applied to the courts to withdraw the practice’s registration with the CQC with instant effect.
“As such the practice will be unable to meet the terms of its contract to provide core services to patients.
“NHS England will therefore need to end the contract in order to make alternative arrangements that will guarantee patients ongoing access to patient care.
“There are currently around 10,000 patients registered at Goodwood Court Medical Centre and we are taking urgent action to make sure they have access to the full range of GP services as swiftly as possible.
“We … are currently looking to issue a contract to another provider in the short term to ensure that all patients have access to ongoing care.
“In the immediate period patients who need to see a GP or a nurse can attend the Brighton Station Health Centre which can provide treatment for a range of minor injuries and illnesses as necessary.
“We will write again to patients imminently to explain the action we have taken to secure their access to local GP services in the longer term.”
The Goodwood Court practice was run by Andy Watts and Abubakr Osman.
Goldsmid ward councillor Jackie O’Quinn said: “This is a deeply worrying situation.”
The closure comes three months after the Eaton Place surgery in Kemp Town shut its doors, leaving thousands of patients without a doctor. And just over a week after the temporary closure of another Hove practice, in Burwash Road, Hangleton, after reports of a rat infestation.