Battling Labour Councillors, led by Cllr Lesley Jones member for Willesden Green ward have been fighting to keep a local GP practice and avoid patients being dispersed. Lesley has been working with my co-Dudden Hill fellow Labour councillor Aslam Choudry and myself and a cross party alliance with Liberal Democrat councillors has been formed on this particular issue.
The surgery, originally in Burnley Road near Dollis Hill tube station closed without warning in 2001. Patients were transferred to a Pound Lane practice with the promise of a return to a surgery in the Burnley Road area. The practice was eventually relocated again to the Willesden Centre for Health and Care, but the inferred intention has always been to find more local premises. Having settled into the facilities at the Willesden Centre, patients now find their surgery is at risk yet again, in spite of PCT assurances over the years to resolve concerns.
This is a community rather than a party political issue, so the Councillors for Willesden Green and Dudden Hill Wards have sent a letter of objection to the PCT Director. We supported a meeting last week with PCT staff and patients. This was a good meeting where patients could express their concerns and could feel they were listened to. As a result, a further look at options for the Burnley Practice and further meetings are expected.
Cllr Lesley Jones said:
“It is really important for councillors to take up issues like this and I am grateful to Labour councillors, Aslam Choudry and Krupesh Hirani (Dudden Hill) and Lib Dem councillors for Willesden and Dudden Hill. for their involvement. This could be a good example of a council working with residents and health services to resolve problems in an area where there are fewer GP’s per 100,000 population than other areas of the borough.”