HEALTH bosses are to push ahead and shut an Oxford doctors’ surgery despite an outcry from patients.
The West Oxford Surgery, a branch of the Jericho Health Centre based at the West Oxford Community Centre in Botley Road, will close at the end of June.
Its services will move to a new centre in a £11.5m redevelopment of the old Radcliffe Infirmary site in Jericho.
Patients have protested about the move, with concerns the one-mile trip to the Walton Street site will make visiting a doctor harder.
There are nearly 6,000 patients registered at the West Oxford Surgery.
Mary Timbrell, 74, from Duke Street, said many would miss its convenience as there was no direct bus to Jericho.
She also said parking was inadequate at the new centre, adding: “It’s not that much of a walk but if someone is disabled or has lots of children with them it will be tough.
“At the end of the day the GPs may possibly have to come out more.”
Susanna Pressel, county councillor for West Central Oxford, collected more than 400 signatures on a petition to save the surgery.
She said: “People are deeply upset to know they are losing this vital service.
“I am disappointed the doctors have failed to find a way of keeping this service in some shape or form in West Oxford Community Centre – especially when the population in the area is growing. It is so well used and loved.”
The surgery, which is open Monday to Friday, started in 2001 to provide a basic GP service until the new Walton Street centre to accommodate both West Oxford and Jericho patients was built.
Residents raised their concerns to health bosses at a public meeting at the surgery on Thursday, March 29.
But mother-of-one Vicky Hirsch, 50, from Alexandra Road, said: “I felt it was already a done deal and they didn’t listen.”
She said the move could deter people from going to the doctors when they should.
She added: “I don’t think they realise how difficult it will be.”
Joel Lazarus, 35, of Lamarsh Road, Oxford, is now calling for a direct bus route from West Oxford to Jericho.
He said: “If we can get a bus service that would be great. It’s logical.”
The new centre will bring together 13,557 patients from West Oxford and the Jericho area. It will include a large waiting room, a dedicated child health clinic, and more clinical rooms.
There will be three parking spaces and a drop-off bay.
Cariad Hazard, of NHS Oxfordshire, said: “The move will allow the practice to accommodate its whole patient list in one location and will offer patients a brand new building and a more efficient service.”