CONSULTATION has started over the closure of Cuffley Surgery.
The future of the centre in Maynard Place has long been in the balance and now NHS Hertfordshire has opened negotiations with residents over a proposed relocation of all services to the Valley View Health Centre, in Goffs Oak.
The move has been met with anger from patients at the current Cuffley site as previously reported by the Potters Bar Edition, but the NHS now wants patients to direct their views to them during the period of consultation.
What is likely to be a heated eight-week period started on Tuesday last week.
The surgeries at Cuffley and Goffs Oak are both part of the Cuffley and Goffs Oak Medical Practice, so the move would amalgamate the two.
Andrew Parker, the NHS’ director of primary care development, said: “The GPs themselves have decided that they do not wish to renew the lease on the Cuffley Surgery building and will provide all their services at Valley View Health Centre.
“NHS Hertfordshire is responsible for all patients registered with GP practices and so during the next eight weeks we want to understand and issues patients may have with accessing services at Valley View.”
Extensive discussions have been taking place over the past few months between solicitors acting for the PCT as landlords and those acting for the GPs, but agreement could not be reached on terms for a new lease and appointment of the cost of repairs needed to the building, including issues such as broken windows.
Mr Parker added: “Although the current lease has expired, it has been argued that the GPs will continue to provide a GP service in Cuffley until the end of August while the period of engagement with patients and community representatives takes place.”
A drop-in session for patients will be held at Cuffley Village Hall on Thursday, June 21 between 2pm and 5pm for patients to air their views.
All registered households of the surgery have been sent a consultation letter.