The elderly residents of a retirement community in Golders Green, home to Shoah survivors and victims of Nazi persecution, are fighting plans to relocate their GP practice.
In a letter to Ravenscroft Medical Practice, the residents of Selig Court in Beverley Gardens express their concern about a proposal to move it to Finchley Memorial Hospital – more than three miles away.
It reads: “We all live in Selig Court which is home to a group of vulnerable and frail survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution, most of whom are aged in their late 80s and 90s.
“We have not been consulted or received any direct mail from the GP Surgery, but we are extremely concerned because we use these resources frequently.”
Last year, NHS Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group invited all Barnet GP practices to apply to be relocated to Finchley Memorial Hospital, and Ravenscroft Medical Centre was selected.
A public consultation, which runs until 25 April, will inform the final decision over whether the move should take place.
Dr. Barry Subel, principal partner of the practice, said in a letter to patients the move would bring significant healthcare benefits such as “the collocation of community services like blood tests and x-rays”.
“Subject to the outcome of the consultation, should the practice move, you will see the same doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals that you regularly see at Ravenscroft Medical Centre’s current location,” he added.
The residents in the letter say travelling to Finchley Memorial Hospital would involve getting “three buses as well as considerable distances of walking”.
It reads: “What arrangements would be made to support the many elderly patients who would be quite unable to undertake these journeys to the far distant Finchley Memorial Hospital because of their mobility needs.
“The need for frequent or urgent visits and/or the considerable costs involved in hiring taxis and paying for carers as escorts
“How would End Of Life care be facilitated from such a distance?”
Angela Murphy, director of community services at Jewish Care, said: “Whilst we understand the potential benefits the new location could bring we know that travelling over three miles to see a doctor is going to be problematic for many.
“We will be supporting tenants and residents to ensure their voice and concerns are heard”.
A spokesperson for NHS Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Patients can give their views until 25 April 2019. No decision will be taken before the consultation exercise has ended. After this, the Clinical Commissioning Group will review and evaluate the results of the consultation exercise.
“This will also include a review of an Equality Impact Assessment and any other material information. A report will then be produced which details the findings and will make recommendations.
“All patients registered with the practice will be sent information about how to engage with this consultation. Also, Dr Subel will hold drop-in session for registered patients where he will answer any questions.”