A once-thriving GP surgery that has been dogged with misfortune, death and even arrest is finally to be found a new owner by NHS England.
Patients of Kingfisher Surgery in Newport Pagnell have experienced one doctor’s unexpected death, an investigation into over-prescription of tranquillisers and a GP investigated by police on suspicion of fraud.
NHS England took over the surgery 16 months ago, appointing caretaking company McLaren Perry Ltd to run it.
McClaren Perry director Lynn Talbot previously founded MP Locums Healthcare, which hit the headlines well after she left for owing HRMC £343,000 in unpaid tax.
Ms Talbot, whose son David is currently running Kingfisher, denied this week the surgery had debts and insisted it was financially viable.
“As with any practice nationally there is a problem recruiting GPs so we have to use locums. It is a difficult situation,” she said.
She denied that patients were leaving by the dozen.
Meanwhile NHS England has now started the procurement process to see if another GP or practice is interested in taking over permanently.
City MP Mark Lancaster is keen to keep Kingfisher open and avoid a disastrous Willen surgery-type closure.
It is understood the nearby Newport Pagnell Medical Centre is interested in the Kingfisher.
Mr Lancaster said this acquisition would provide a “resilient and first rate service” for residents.
He said: “I’m confident and determined that I can ensure NHS England deliver a positive solution.”
A spokesman for NHS England would not comment on the surgery’s problems.
The husband and wife GPs who founded Kingfisher Surgery have hit out at the delay in the NHS finding long term owners.
Drs Alex and Catherine Paton ran the surgery successfully for 30 years before retiring, leaving it in the hands of Drs Pedro Moran and Anna O’Brien.
Dr Moran died of a brain tumour in June 2012. Months later Dr O’Brien was suspended for alleged inappropriate prescribing.
Shortly afterwards she was arrested on suspicion of financial fraud. Police investigated for months but no charges were made.
Meanwhile the GMC has imposed conditions until Dr O’Brien’s full fitness to practise hearing.
Dr Alex Paton said: “We are very sad to see how quickly the surgery has gone downhill . We regret that our ex-colleagues and patients have been treated so badly.”