COMMERCE: Three MPs in Enfield have backed a seven year campaign by a GP to enter what they argue is the London borough’s “inadequate” primary care market.
GP Ali Demirbag purchased an old pub in July 2007 with the aim of replacing the building with a GP practice and diagnostic centre.
Although he gained planning permission and investment for the project, he has been unable to secure a GP contract. The building remains derelict.
Dr Demirbag said he had offered NHS England to treat his first 5,000 patients without charging rent to the NHS on the proviso that “if I reach 5,000 patients, you should accept those patients’ choice and a contract should follow”.
However, GPs in the area had resisted the move, he claimed.
Conservative MPs Nick de Bois and David Burrowes and Labour MP Andy Love had flagged Dr Demirbag’s new surgery plans up to the former primary care trust.
Mr de Bois said the MPs met quarterly with the PCT to “discuss the healthcare needs of the borough, and this was when this was first raised collectively”, more than two years ago.
He has now urged NHS England to “step in, audit the needs of the borough and open up the processes so that we do not have to wait another seven years for this type of investment in our area and in our healthcare”.
An spokeswoman for the NHS England London area team said: “Whilst these proposals will be considered to improve primary care services in Enfield, it is not the only option available.
“To secure investment and commission the right service for the local population we need to explore all available options.”
NHS England has set up a working group with Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group, Healthwatch and the local authority to consider the case for new investment in primary care and “feasible options for the delivery of these services”, which “may include the procurement of a new GP practice”.
A spokeswoman for Enfield CCG said it is “aware of ongoing discussions and of course takes an interest in any developments that may have an impact for Enfield patients”.
Information provided to HSJ