Fears GP system could collapse as thousands move in to new MK estate

A retired doctor has hit out at plans to build a GP surgery on a new city estate '“ YEARS after thousands of residents move in.

Friday, 11th March 2016, 12:19 pm
Updated Friday, 11th March 2016, 12:26 pm
Map of the Western Expansion area

Plans to spend £22million on building two GP centres to cater for the developments , are to be announced next week.

But the first surgery, costing £13.5million, will not be built in Whitehouse until 2020 – after 8,000 residents have moved in.

Dr Eric Rose, who founded MK Village surgery, believes this will put mounting pressure on existing GP practices such as Great Holm, Stony Stratford, Westcroft and Wolverton, which will struggle to cope with thousands of new patients.

“I think the system will collapse,” he said.

“Surgeries will struggle to cope with taking on exra patients. It is hard enough as it is.

“Common sense does not always go hand in hand with the way things are run.

“The council must work with NHS England to build surgeries before the population arrives.”

However, the first homes being built are just the beginning of MK’s expansion areas.

There are expected to be up to 15,000 new homes for around 40,000 residents in the next 10 years.

This week Councillor Nigel Long, cabinet member for health and adult social care, admitted the timing was off.

He said: “It would have been better if this was started two years ago by the previous administration.

“Perhaps our MP should spend less time talking about Scotland in Parliament and fight for MK.”

His comments follow an intervention by MK South MP Iain Stewart who slammed the Labour-led council for not having the infrastructure in place before residents move in.

He said he will be writing to NHS England to push for a review of the current timeframe.

Mr Stewart said: “Sadly I think the council have missed a trick and will be piling pressure on local GPs. We all knew this money was coming and we all knew the health centre was planned.

“But what patients and surgeries have been calling for is to bring it forward much earlier than 2019, or at least have some temporary provision to meet the demand from the new residents until the new centre is complete.”

Plans will be outlined to spend a further £8.75million to build another GP centre in Brooklands on the eastern flank at Cabinet on Monday.