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GP surgery closure: ‘Where are we all going to go?’

Residents fear they could be left without access to a doctor after loss of medical centre that serves more than 4,000

25 May, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Councillors Sara Hyde, Paul Convery and Una O’Halloran, pictured outside Roman Way Medical Centre, are calling for a new GP surgery for the area

RESIDENTS have warned that GP surgeries in their area will be “overloaded” if the planned closure of a popular surgery goes ahead without a replacement being built.

Doctors at Roman Way Medical Centre, off Caledonian Road, have looked after locals for more than 50 years but the surgery is set to close at the end of August when one of the two GPs who own the building retires.

It has sparked warnings that overstretched services in the borough will not be able to cope unless a replacement surgery is provided. The practice has around 4,700 patients on its books.

Jack Meola, 57, who has been registered at Roman Way since he was a child, said: “Where are we all going to go? It’s going to overload other places. As soon as I got the letter saying the surgery was closing I went to another surgery in North Road and they said they weren’t taking any more patients.”

Kevin Chung, 38, another nearby resident, said: “This is the only doctor’s I’ve ever used. I’ve been here since I was a baby – I don’t know anything different.”

Cally Road councillors have called for NHS chiefs to replace the surgery, and told them to take into account the thousand new homes planned for the Holloway prison site.

Town Hall leader Cllr Richard Watts and the council’s health chief, Cllr Janet Burgess, said in a letter to heath commissioners: “Islington Council is keen to see the committee take a strategic view of GP provision in the area which takes account of future population growth in the area arising from three major housing schemes.”

They also highlighted how some nearby GP practices are small and would not be able to accommodate a surge in new patients.

Islington Clinical Commissioning Group, the NHS body which buys and plans healthcare for the borough, said: “NHS England and Islington CCG will be looking at the availability of other premises in the area, capacity in local practices and listening to the views of local stakeholders such as the local Healthwatch, councillors and MP.

“Once we have looked at all the information, Islington Clinical Commissioning Group will make a decision on next steps and inform all registered patients and local stakeholders.”

A decision will be made next month on whether to replace the surgery through a procurement process which could take up to a year.

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