'Shock and sadness' after news GP practice will close

Southgate Road Medical Centre and its Whiston Road Surgery branch are closing next year

Southgate Road Medical Centre and its Whiston Road Surgery branch are closing next year - Credit: Google 2021

Two branches of a GP surgery which serves people in Hackney and Islington are to close next year.

A letter to patients explained that the Southgate Road Medical Centre - located in Islington - is set to close on March 31 2022, alongside the Whiston Road Surgery which is on Kingsland Road.

The letter, signed by North East London CCG's Primary Care of City and Hackney Integrated Care Partnership programme director Richard Bull and assistant head of primary care Angela Ezimora-West, detailed the reasons why the practice is closing. 

It read: "For very many years the practice has been run by three GP partners, Drs Tahalani, Kumar and Sabharwal.

"Dr Sabharwal has not been practicing medicine for the last couple of years and, in October 2021, Dr Tahalani and Dr Kumar handed their NHS contract back to the NHS, thereby dissolving their partnership."

Dr Tahalani and Dr Kumar retired on October 29.

Dr Tahalani stated on the practices website: "After over 39 years of service at the practice, I have made the difficult decision to retire. 

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"I have thoroughly enjoyable career working alongside an incredible team who I will miss dearly. It has been a great pleasure to support all of the local patients and generations of families over the years."

Local NHS commissioners asked The Lawson Practice to run the facility on "an emergency caretaking basis". 

However, the decision to close was influenced by the fact that there are "21 other practices within a mile" - all of which are accepting new patients.

But one concerned Hackney resident said: "I am deeply saddened by this as well as shocked that this can occur without any consultation of patients and local residents. 

"This will only put more pressure on nearby surgeries which are already struggling."

Patients are advised to register with a new practice as soon as possible. If they haven't registered they will be allocated one by the NHS. 

To register with a new GP surgery visit www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/gps/how-to-register-with-a-gp-surgery