‘OUTRAGED’ campaigners have slammed the local health service after yet another delay to a proposed new doctors’ surgery for Brownsover, which has been without a local surgery since early 2015.
NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which has recently taken over the project from NHS England, say the surgery will be open by the end of 2018 – two and a half years after the original planned opening date.
NHS England initially promised to open the surgery in the summer of 2016, before revising the date to early 2018, and then to summer 2018.
Over 10,000 Brownsover residents have been without local medical cover since Brownsover Medical Practice and its sister surgery Albert Street Medical Centre closed in March 2015.
A spokesman for the Brownsover Patient Action Group (BPAG) said he felt the group had been ‘consistently lied to, misled and met with obfuscation’ throughout the process.
Group chair Jake Stevenson said: “The feeling that the patients of Brownsover simply do not matter to the NHS is compounded by the fact that no explanation is given and nobody is held accountable for this ongoing bureaucratic quagmire.
“It seems to us that every new NHS lead who takes over the project ignores what has gone before and dumps another new timetable on the community, condemning patients to ongoing inferior temporary facilities with no continuity of care.
“BPAG are no more confident now that this new timetable will lead to the conclusion of the new build than the previous two. We demand deeds, not empty rhetoric, and we call on the NHS to explain these unacceptable delays.”
A spokesman for the CCG said there had been issues with planning permission at the site of the former Brownsover Medical Practice which led to a decision to build a new practice on a new site.
Head of communications and engagement Stephen O’Hanlon said: “We understand and empathise with the patients because it has been going on a long time. We remain fully committed to it and want to get it done on schedule because we’re conscious that patients are waiting.
“All partners are focused on steering it through the final approval processes needed to ensure taxpayer money is spent wisely.
“We will continue to work closely with Brownsover Patient Action Group and other local partners and look forward to the opening of a new facility that will bring improved access and an enhanced range of services to local patients.”
BPAG has requested an urgent meeting with Rugby MP Mark Pawsey and NHS representatives, and further requested Mr Pawsey seeks a meeting with junior health minister Steve Brine.