West End Lane Surgery Closure

February 28, 2015 at 10:35 pm / by

west end lane


The following letter concerning the closure of West End Land Surgery first appeared in the Camden New Journal.


We are deeply concerned that, under the current government, the NHS has become under-resourced and is struggling to meet patient need. 

The coalition’s move to privatise the NHS undermines its founding principles; profits should never be put before patients.

The recent resignation of Dr ASM Grasse, and the threat that this poses to the continued existence of the West End Lane surgery, is symptomatic of wider problems faced in our health system. 

The NHS is under unprecedented pressure yet current government spending plans are systematically failing to meet patient needs. 

Under the coalition resources have been siphoned off to pay for the £1.4billion top-down reorganisation of the NHS rather than to improve the quality of patient care. 

GPs surgeries, like that in West End Lane, are under threat precisely because the government has failed to hire the staff necessary to meet needs.

During the final year of the last Labour government satisfaction in the NHS was at an all-time high. It is no coincidence that in 2011, shortly after the coalition came to power, we saw the biggest-ever fall in patient satisfaction in our health system. We have since seen service quality deteriorate on a whole range of measures – from A&E targets to GP service waiting times.  

Under a Labour government, the NHS will receive an extra £2.5billion a year to help meet these competing needs, and give overly-strained workers the time and resources to care for their patients. 

The coalition’s privatisation measures will be reversed and the patient will be put back at the heart of an integrated health and social care system committed to a high-quality service rather than private provision.  

These measures will pay for an extra 20,000 nurses; 8,000 GPs; 3,000 midwives; and 5,000 homecare workers. They will ensure people get appointments with their GPs within 48 hours – rather than having to wait weeks, as at present. And they will help ensure that GP surgeries like West End Lane open to the local community. 

Hampstead and Kilburn desperately needs a Labour government to help carry these measures forward. 

In the meantime, it is incumbent on NHS England to keep this surgery open and to continue to provide for the 1,400 patients it serves. Given the growing pressures on local health services closure is simply not an option. Forcing other local surgeries to absorb the patient list, when they are already too stretched, would risk the quality of care that patients receive. 

For this reason we have jointly written a letter to NHS England, asking them to reprocure the contract as a matter of urgency. Their decision to close the surgery is causing unnecessary distress to local patients at a time of considerable strain on our health system. They have a duty to reassure patients, and to keep this service up and running. 

Residents in NW6 should not suffer because the government has failed to deal with the crisis in our NHS. 

We will not give up the fight to save West End Lane surgery.