Plans to turn the Connaught Square Doctors’ Surgery premises into luxury housing have met with fury from patients who having been going to the GP surgery for many years.
The Connaught Square Surgery, at 41 Connaught Square, London W2 2HL, was rated ‘Good’ in 2018 by the Care Quality Commission https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-2451300192
Connaught Square Practice has been a family doctors’ surgery since 1907 and has been an NHS medical practice since the inception of the NHS in 1948, with over 8,000 registered patients. The practice is led by Dr Ruth OHare.
Now, without warning, a planning application has now been submitted by the Church Commissioners for:
“Use of the basement, ground floor and part first floor level from medical (Class D1) to residential (Class C3), including removal of non-original partitions, fittings and features is proposed in to facilitate the new residential layout.”
Residents can make comments on the planning application online at https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/ quoting 20/00313/FULL
Comments from residents so far include:
“The practice has been serving the community since 1907. It is regarded well and held in high esteem by its neighbours for the excellent service it provides. Its contribution to the health of the community despite the ever-growing demands and increased pressure in the NHS is truly remarkable. Unfortunately, such a plan that holds no clarity, and could potentially put the practice in a very unstable position is not helpful and in fact detrimental. It will put more than 8000 registered patients at risk. As it is also a hub for other services that other practices use e,g, weekend clinics, and special procedures and services.”
“I object to the closure of this NHS practice – this clinic serves thousands of residents in the area – many of whom are elderly, very young and vulnerable. This practice provides a vital service to locals and there are few alternatives in the area, who would be further overburdened by the influx of patients if this clinic is closed.”
“I strongly object to this planning application. This surgery is vital to the local community. This will be the third GP surgery to shut down in the last 5-6 years, that I have been registered with, following the Bayswater Medial Centre and Milne House, if permission is granted. That is simply far too many. That leaves no surgeries in a large section of Westminster, in what is a very densely populated area. It already takes weeks to get an appointment which is shocking in itself for a developed country, and closing this surgery will exacerbate the situation. People often require surgeries to be local when they are sick, instead of having to travel significant distances, especially young children and the elderly. There are lives being risked here.”
“I object to this planning permission being granted. The proposed material change of use in the building only serves to introduce one more residential property in an area characterised by residential buildings. The adverse effect that removing this local GP Surgery will have on the local community is more important than the benefit that would be introduced by the creation of yet another residential building. This local GP Surgery helps provide an effective and timely health service, which would be disrupted and would also cause great burdens on the remaining GP Surgeries, who are already over-booked and struggle to provide available appointments. The closure of this surgery would cause great dissatisfaction to local residents, who consist of several elderly and young people that currently benefit from not having to travel further away to attend their GP.”
See a letter to the local press from local resident Jennifer Sheridan