Crawley doctors’ surgery to be moved despite protests

A neighbourhood doctors’ surgery is to close and move to the town centre.

The Saxonbrook Medical Centre, in Woolborough Road, Northgate, will shut from June 1, despite protests from patients.

The practice has been trying to move to Cross Keys House, Haslett Avenue West, for more than two years, claiming the 30-year-old building was no longer fit for purpose. The last attempt was scuppered by NHS experts in January 2013 who said the Woolborough Road site could be developed and refurbished.

Queenie Hopcroft, of Holybush Road, went door-ro-door with a petition calling on people to oppose the move.

She said the move would cause patients “a lot of inconvenience” and added: “There is no drop-off point there, no cars are allowed along there – people are going to struggle.”

Regarding the increased distance patients would have to travel, she said: “It may be only 10 minutes further away as the crow flies but it’s not when you are old or have difficulties.”

Another concern raised was the future of Northgate’s chemist shop. Pharmacist Shilesh Patel, who runs Jades Pharmacy, on Northgate Parade, said he would “just have to wait and see” and added: “It’s going to affect me a lot because there’s a chemist right outside the Cross Keys centre.”

A spokesman for NHS England said: “Moving Northgate surgery means the practice will be able to provide care to patients in a much better environment which is more suited to the needs of modern general practice services. They will also be able to improve and expand the care they currently deliver, in line with the NHS Five Year Forward View, which recognises the vital role GP practices have in supporting patients to keep well by providing a broader range of integrated services within the community.”