A decision on whether to close a Penge medical centre with more than 5,000 registered patients has been delayed, just hours before it was due to be discussed.

Bromley NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was set to discuss the closure of Trinity Medical Centre on Thursday afternoon, however the item was removed from the agenda – as well as the CCG’s website – in the morning.

When contacted, a spokesperson for the CCG said the last-minute decision was due to purdah – the period of restricted local government activity put in place before general elections in order to avoid influencing the outcome.

It comes after swift opposition from community groups, who claim they had largely been kept in the dark about the possibility of the centre closing.

Community Action Penge, which was originally formed by staff at Trinity Medical Centre, voiced concerns over the lack of community consultation undertaken on the move.

In addition, the proposal hasn’t been brought before any of Bromley council’s health committees, with the possibility of the centre closing only being confirmed when Thursday’s agenda was released in the last week.

In recommending the closure, the CCG states that overall, the number of registered patients to the centre has decreased since July 2016 – dropping by 56 to a total of 5,262 as of October 2019.

The CCG is confident those patients will be able to be accommodated by five other practices within 1.2 miles of the medical centre.

The potential closure comes after the long-time GPs who ran the practice for 24 years retired last year, according to the CCG’s now-removed report.

Two extensions to the care-taking lease were subsequently signed while the CCG explored a long-term home for the centre.

However, the CCG stated that no available premises were available within the area before the current lease expires in March 2020,

The paper will now be discussed at a meeting post-election in the new year.