King’s Cross Surgery move is ‘not relocation, it’s a removal’

NHS Property Services said this week it had spent £925,000 on the refurbishment

Friday, 24th June — By Tom Foot

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A MAJOR expansion of a surgery that was taken over by a US health giant is under way, making space for thousands of new patients forced to leave King’s Cross Surgery.

The NHS – which said it could not afford to set up a replacement surgery in King’s Cross – has shelled out for a long lease on an adjoining office block in Chalton Street and is funding a £1million refurbishment.

King’s Cross Surgery, which has 7,000 patients on its list, is closing because it is on land being redeveloped to make way for a new Moorfield’s Eye Hospital.

During the discussions about the King’s Cross Surgery’s future, the NHS did attempt to find premises but rents were too expensive and a decision was taken to send patients to Somers Town instead.

One of the surgery’s patients said: “It’s not a relocation, it’s a removal. In an area already struggling with overpopulation, you’re removing a doctor’s surgery and it’s being folded into another already oversubscribed medical centre.”

Both Somers Town Medical Centre and King’s Cross Surgery are run by Operose Health, a subsidiary of the US health insurance giant Centene

Corporation, as revealed by the New Journal in February 2021.

NHS campaigners have argued the amalgamation of the practices will make them cheaper to run for the company.

A Panorama investigation last week claimed Operose practices in London are more likely to be under-staffed than others practices that are run by family GPs.

The lawfulness of the Centene surgeries takeover was tested in the High Court earlier this year, but the judicial review was dismissed.

The failure to build a replacement surgery in King’s Cross, where hundreds of homes have been built as part of a flagship regeneration, was criticised last year by Camden councillors.

NHS Property Services said this week it had spent £925,000 on the refurbishment that would create a “modern, sustainable and pleasant environment to work and receive care in”.

Its “portfolio optimisation manager” manager Dhiren Ganesh said: “NHS Property Services and our partners on this relocation project are immensely proud of our estates solution for local communities in the area.”

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