By The Editor
THOUSANDS of patients are still waiting to learn about alternative healthcare arrangements after the shock announcement that Gosport’s Bury Road Surgery is to close at the end of March.
Staff at the clinic adjoining the War Memorial Hospital said the closure decision was confirmed at a meeting yesterday, Monday, January 9, by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board.
It follows the resignation of the senior partner, Dr Carl Anandan, at the end of December on health grounds.
Now the 4,500 patients affected by the decision are waiting for letters telling them about proposals to place them under the care of other GPs in a town that has been badly hit by a shortage of doctors for the past decade.
According to a member of the Bury Road Surgery staff, the nearby Gosport Medical Centre will not be taking any of the new intake.
Meanwhile, a move by Dr Anandan to rescind his resignation and put forward a proposal for a nurse-led model to run the surgery has been unsuccessful.
The board said in a statement this week: “Members of the Primary Care Operational Group for South East Hampshire, which includes GPs and nurses who specialise in quality of service assurance, were not reassured that the practice could be run effectively or would continue to be viable or, most importantly, that the plan before them would provide a safe clinical service for patients at a time when the practice is already being closely monitored by the Care Quality Commission about its level of performance.”
“We are now working with the other GP practices in Gosport with a view to having a ‘managed dispersal’ of the registered patient list. This means we will be moving patients to other practices where there is capacity to take them.
In an announcement posted on the clinic’s website – Bury Road Surgery – Dr Anandan told his patients: “I will still be the senior partner until my notice expires in March 2023.
“I have met with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board and await the decision as to what will be happening to Bury Road surgery.”
“Until then, I would please urge you to do nothing. You are still patients at this practice and the ICB will write to you to clarify the process over continuity of care for patients as soon as possible. They will be communicating with you, including via this website, to keep you informed of developments.”
He added: “I have devoted most of my life to caring for patients from the age of 17. When I joined the defence medical services. As you may be aware I have been in all three military defence medical services over the years, and in addition to this I had my own practice at Greywell surgery and of course Bury Road Surgery.”
“I have been putting off retirement over the last few years, but due to family illnesses and recent bereavements, together with the increased pressure, demands and expectations, and increasing list size in BRS, together with the recruitment and staffing problems, it has got to the point where I need to take account of my own health”
“I have been away from the surgery for a lengthy period, following the advice of my own doctors and colleagues, I was advised to take time off to recuperate. Having been off for this long period, I need to have an Occupational Health Assessment and a period of accreditation which I will be starting in March 2023.”
“I do not want to hang up my stethoscope as I still have much to offer. I am passionate about my lifelong devotion to the medical service and to helping others by both conventional medicine and complimentary therapies.”
“Once back in harness, and on what is known in the medical world as the ‘performers list,’ I will continue to be a GP with multiple medical and surgical specialities to offer.”
“However, my previous very long hours both at a surgery and out of hours will be markedly reduced so that I can spend more time with my family, my pets and the many hobbies and projects which I have been neglecting. I will also be completing the final chapter of my book with the help of my ghost-writer and friend Ed Couzens-Lake.”
“Once back on the performers list, I will be doing locums (temporary GP work at GP practices), private practice and as a Civilian Medical Practitioner (CMP) but I won’t be involved with much of the activity and administration that I have found challenging.”
PICTURED: The War Memorial Hospital entrance to the Bury Road Surgery in Gosport – as seen from the car park at the Thorngate Halls.