??CAMPAIGNERS who pledged to fight for the future of a Northwood Hills doctor’s surgery have been dealt a bitter blow after it was revealed it will be closed by the end of this month.
?More than 10,000 patients at the Mountwood surgery branch in Northwood Health Centre in Neal Close, Acre Way, will be affected by the closure.
They will be transferred to the surgery’s other branch, at Mount Vernon Hospital, Rickmansworth Road, Northwood.
Northwood and Northwood Hills Residents’ Associations teamed up to fight the closure plans, saying the transfer of patients meant elderly and less mobile people would have to make longer and more difficult journeys to see their GP.
Gillian Tobin, practice manager, wrote to the branch’s 10,300 patients in June and invited them to have their say on the plans.
The letter, seen by the Gazette, said it was becoming “increasingly difficult to staff two sites”.
It said that the Mount Vernon branch, which opened four years ago, has excellent facilities and bus stops within easy reach.
Thirty people responded to the letter, with only five people criticising the plans, NHS Hillingdon said.
The residents’ associations had argued that access to the Mount Vernon surgery meant negotiating a steep hill or a busy main road.
Tony Ellis, chairman of Northwood resident’s association, had described it as a “retrograde step.”
Andrew Riley, chairman of Northwood Hills Residents Association, said he understood there was nothing more they could do to stop the closure.
He said: “That is the decision they have taken and there doesn’t seem much we can do about it now.
“It is a real shame.
“There was a feeling against it.
“People were getting very, very confused.”
An NHS Hillingdon spokesman said patients were concerned about being able to continue to access other services at the Northwood Health Centre, and they have been reassured that all patients can still make use of the phlebotomy, diabetic retinopathy and complex wound clinics.
He added: “Mountwood Practice patients have not been offered appointments at the health centre since March of this year, with no complaints about this arrangement.”
The branch will be closed by October 31. The rest of the health centre will remain open as normal.
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