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Relief for pensioners as Crayford GP surgery given the green light
PENSIONERS in Crayford are breathing a sigh of relief after a new GP surgery was given the green light.
Residents were concerned over the planned closure of a walk-in centre in Crayford Road used by nearly 5,000 patients a year after NHS England decided it should be axed.
The service provided in a Portacabin was a lifeline for mainly elderly patients but without it many weekday users would be sent to GPs they currently struggle to access.
Meanwhile, those requiring treatment at weekends would have been forced to travel to Erith or Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup.
Crayford Councillor Eileen Pallen was worried the service, used by around 18 people a day, was going to go in March 31 next year without the guarantee of a replacement in the town.
She told a meeting of Bexley Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee on September 24 that worries over the loss of the centre had spread like "Chinese whispers" among residents.
She said: "I just want to feel the impact on the residents of Crayford has been thought out and for me it feels very rushed and it seems like it has been done very quickly."
But after NHS England granted funding for a new GP surgery in Crayford on September 25, one pensioner who uses the walk-in centre is happy a bigger and better replacement has been promised by December 2014.
Grandfather-of-four and Crayford Road resident Lionel Eastmond, 76, told News Shopper: “I am happy it is finally settled and the uncertainty, with so many promises, is over.
“It’s going to be in the town hall as far as I understand which is central and means it is to have a prominent position.”
Councillors Pallen, Geraldene Lucia Hennis and John Davey said in a joint statement: "For too long the NHS has short changed Crayford in primary health services.
"It simply wasn’t acceptable for local people to have trouble accessing a GP.
"We really welcome the news that NHS England has decided to fund the project and am pleased our lobbying has helped to deliver for Crayford residents."
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