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Residents fight for lost surgery to be reopened
CAMPAIGNERS are to grill surgery bosses over what they say was a lack of consultation before the service was moved.
When Jericho Health Centre moved to its new £11.5m ‘super surgery’ on the old Radcliffe Infirmary site on July 6 last year to save money, its West Oxford Community Centre branch closed.
Nearly 6,000 patients who were registered at the surgery had to move to the Jericho centre a mile away – which for some involves two bus rides.
After more than a year of campaigning by residents, led by former Lord Mayor John Power, a meeting with surgery chiefs has been agreed.
Mr Power, 75, said: “I think they will dig their heels in, but I am not giving up. We live in a wealthy city in a rich country and this should not happen.
“There will be a number of us going along to question them about the lack of proper consultation and the need to restore services.”
At the meeting campaigners will call for surgery sessions to be started again at West Oxford Community Centre at least a few times a week.
Susanna Pressel, county councillor for West Oxford, collected more than 400 signatures on a petition to save the surgery last year.
She said: “Many people in the Botley Road area, especially older people and parents of young children, have told me their number one complaint is the loss of the doctors’ surgery.
“If you are unable to walk or cycle, perhaps because you are too ill, you need to get on two buses, one of which runs only once every 70 minutes, to get to the surgery in Jericho. “The surgery has no parking for patients and parking a car is difficult in Jericho.
“I did persuade the doctors to agree to come back to the centre occasionally for such things as flu jabs, but that is a small consolation. They have also promised to do more home visits, so I hope people will hold them to that.
“We would love to persuade them to come back for good, at least for three or four sessions a week.”
The surgery had been open on weekdays at the centre in Botley Road since 2001.
A date for the meeting has not yet been set. Jericho Health Centre said a meeting would happen but declined to comment further.
Residents have also filed a complaint with the NHS Parliamentary Ombudsman.
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