GP surgery under threat of closure

The New Surgery in Church Yard, Tring
The New Surgery in Church Yard, Tring

More than 2,500 patients could be forced to register with another GP if health bosses decide to shut down a popular doctors’ surgery.

Herts Urgent Care has been providing a temporary stop-gap service at The New Surgery in Tring following the retirement in January after almost 30 years, of well-known GP Dr Tony Hall-Jones.

But now the future of the surgery hangs in the balance as Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS England decide whether to contract a new GP provider or close the service for good.

Margaret Moran, of the Dacorum Patients Group, has hit out at health bosses for a lack of forward-thinking.

Mrs Moran, who is a patient representative on the CCG’s board, said: “Where was the succession planning? GPs retire, as they are entitled.

“It cannot have been a surprise that Dr Hall-Jones left – why weren’t they thinking of this months ago?

“It’s a case of too many cooks, and the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.”

If the surgery does close, the 2,542 patients currently registered with the practice would have to either join the 18,815 at the Rothschild House Surgery on Chapel Street or travel to Berkhamsted.

Mrs Moran, who herself lives in Berkhamsted, said Milton House Surgery on Doctors Commons Road – which is the largest of the town’s four – has around 9,000 patients on the books but has had to close its practice list due to an influx of new patients.

She said: “We are concerned at the loss of any health service in the area, given that the population is growing.

“There are more houses being built and more people moving in, but we are losing services – this is bad news for everybody.”

There is concern that the Rothschild House Surgery, which has 11 GPs at the practice, would not be able to cope with the influx of patients from The New Surgery should it close.

But even if it is decided that a new GP provider will be contracted, the process could still take up to a year.

Herts Valley CCG and NHS England are offering patients the chance to have their say on the plans, both online and at consultation meetings.

Representatives from both organisations will answer questions at three drop-in sessions, which will be at Pond Close Sheltered Housing Scheme, next to the surgery.

The first will be tomorrow (Thursday, April 21) between 1.30-3pm; the second will be on Thursday, May 5, from 9.30-11am and the third will be on Wednesday, May 11, from 5.30-7pm.

Readers can fill out an {https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2697565/The-New-Surgery-in-Tring-Consultation-Survey |online questionnaire here} before 5pm on Friday, May 20.

Email heather.aylward@hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk or write to The New Surgery Consultation, Communications and Engagement, Herts Valleys CCG, Hemel One, Boundary Way, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7YU.

You do not have to be a patient at the New Surgery to submit your views.