Holocaust survivors in Golders Green have expressed concern after plans to relocate a local surgery to Finchley Memorial Hospital were given the go-ahead.
Ravenscroft Medical Centre will be moved to Finchley Memorial Hospital, which is located more than three miles away, it was announced on Friday.
NHS Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group (Barnet CCG) expects the move to occur by January 2020 and said patients will be given eight weeks’ notice.
Barnet CCG also said it would support any patients wishing to move to another practice.
Kay Matthews, chief operating officer at Barnet CCG said the relocation would “save the NHS around £150,000 a year”.
Dr Subel, GP Partner at Ravenscroft Medical Centre, said the move presented a “fantastic opportunity” for the practice and patients.
“We intend to work hard to improve the health of our patients, reducing the number of visits patients need to make to the surgery and ensuring that when they do visit they can also benefit from all the other services available at Finchley Memorial Hospital,” Dr Subel said.
The decision comes despite concerns from a group of patients who are elderly tenants of Jewish Care’s Selig Court, a retirement community home to many survivors.
One of the residents said: “Being a survivor of the Holocaust, aged 87, this feels like a most unwelcome disturbance to my life.
“It is so cruel,” the resident said.
Another tenant said: “I have had a very disrupted past, being a survivor of the Holocaust. At my age of 89 years, I do not want these changes to complicate my way of life any further.
“Finchley Memorial Hospital is much too far away. Trying to visit the hospital would be much too inconvenient, stressful and too expensive.
“A taxi costs £20 return, an escorting carer costs over £17 per hour. [It would be] disruptive to my way of life.”
Angela Murphy, director of community services at Jewish Care, said: “We do understand that the new location of Ravenscroft Medical Practice may be problematic, but we will support the tenants and residents in accessing medical care, should they need it.”
Selig Court residents had laid out their concerns in a letter in February in a letter, which drew media coverage at the time.
The letter stated that travelling to Finchley Memorial Hospital would involve getting “three buses as well as considerable distances of walking”.
“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,” it read.
“The need for frequent or urgent visits and/or the considerable costs involved in hiring taxis and paying for carers as escorts.”