A Bevendean surgery may be under threat of closure as its landlord is planning to build a new surgery there and charge more rent.
The threat to The Practice Willow House has been raised by the NHS as it looks at how it deals with practices shutting down in the light of the controversial closures of Eaton Place and Goodwood Court surgeries this year.
This latest threat is the result of WP Properties’ plans to knock down the existing surgery in Heath Hill Avenue and build student housing and a new surgery – but also hike up the rent, which the NHS might not meet.
And the NHS is also concerned that Burwash Surgery, which closed for some weeks in the summer because of a rat infestation, has also been closed on a number of occasions since then as the practice, in Burwash Road, Hangleton, has failed to secure adequate locum cover
The NHS England report, which is to be discussed by Brighton and Hove City Council‘s Health and Wellbeing Board on Tuesday (20 October), said: “The council has given planning permission for the proposals on the basis that a ‘surgery’ is still at the site.
“However, the planning permission does not specifically state whether this refers to having a GP surgery.
“The practice is in ongoing discussions with the landlord about the level of rent that would apply to the use of the new surgery space that he is proposing.
“Any increase in rent would mean an increased financial commitment by the NHS to fund the use of the building.
“If the practice were to approach NHS England for any additional funding for the premises this would therefore need to be subject to formal consideration in order to ensure value for money and to make sure patient needs are met.
“In addition to this, the practice has worked with NHS England on a business continuity plan to ensure that services can and will continue should the premises become unavailable.”
The report also says that it has learnt lessons from the closure of two surgeries this year.
Eaton Place in Kemp Town closed after both its GPs retired at the same time and Goodwood Court Medical Centre in Hove was shut down by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after a disastrous inspection.
The report says that all affected patients have now been found alternative GPs but as a result it will be now conducting more thorough contract reviews, improving patient communication and involving patients in decisions about future care when surgeries close down.
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