A South Norwood medical centre could close due to one of its partners and his wife accumulating debts of £11.6 million.
The centre opened in 1995 and it currently serves over 12,000 patients in South Norwood, Shirley, East Croydon and Addiscombe. The impending closure would create a large gap for the borough’s healthcare meaning surgeries elsewhere would have to be found within two months for patients.
Ingrid Lewis who received treatment at the centre said: “I am dismayed that the centre which treated me so well may have to close.”
“The medical centre is really at the heart of the community and I believe everyone who has ever been involved with Portland Medical should campaign to keep it open.”
Croydon NHS deemed the doctors conduct as a ‘breach of contract’ and served a six month termination notice on the centre in August this year.
Dr. Sondhi, formerly of Mayday Hospital (Croydon), reportedly entered into an ‘individual voluntary arrangement’ after accumulating the debts.
The two remaining partners, Dr. Sheila O’Hara and Dr. Paddy Jackson are currently campaigning to attain a new contract in order to keep the medical centre open.
Vicky Bernard, Practice manager at Portland Medical shed an optimistic light on the issue when interviewed. “Croydon NHS are conducting a local patient review of which we are awaiting the results. The process shouldn’t take more than a few weeks however the residents are strongly behind the facility remaining open.”
“A questionnaire which we are handing out has had over 1000 positive responses and closed-patient meetings which we are conducting are moving forward successfully.”
Local people were extremely angry when the revelations were made earlier this year.
Stephanie Holcomb, 33, South Norwood said: “I am totally disgusted. How selfish can you be to potentially jeopardise the healthcare of not just yourself but all the residents who use the facility.”
Croydon NHS are reviewing the services provided at Portland Medical Centre and have agreed to work with the staff in order to determine its future.