No space for GP surgery in King’s Cross development

Thousands of residents left without a practice in railwaylands

Friday, 21st January — By Tom Foot

GP protest 2_photo-Simon Lamrock.jpg

The takeover of GP surgeries sparked protests last year

HEALTH chiefs have let down residents in a “massive failure” not to find space for a surgery for thousands of residents living in the new regenerated King’s Cross railwaylands, councillors said.

North Central London Clinical Commissioning Groups has agreed to let the only GP practice serving King’s Cross move to Somers Town in Camden.

They said they could not find anywhere in the entire King’s Cross development that fulfilled all its requirements.

Ward councillor Jonathan Simpson criticised the change that has the flagship regeneration scheme boasting thousands of homes without a nearby family doctor.

Speaking at Camden scrutiny meeting on Monday, Cllr Simpson said: “I find it frankly absurd. Residents in the KX development are saying there is no capacity already. They are having to go to James Wigg in Kentish Town.”

He added: “So many residents are going to be living there. It seems like a massive failure for them. I worry for the vulnerable residents. ”

Another Labour councillor, Larraine Revah, added: “I don’t see why we can’t go on to the KX site. There is plenty of space. You are not leaving people with a choice.”

King’s Cross Surgery is one of the practices taken over by a company owned by US-health insurance giant Centene. The take­over is being challenged by a judicial review challenge brought by an Islington patient, which gets under way next month in the High Court.

The Tribune revealed last year the takeover of surgeries that has become a cause célèbre for anti-privatisation campaigners.

Simon Wheatley from NCL told the meeting: “I recognise it is not an area over-populated in terms of practices.

“We need to make sure we are scoping in a way that’s fit for the future. But it’s unlikely we will be commissioning new contracts in the foreseeable…”

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