Doctor fails in bid to take over Sandy surgery

PUBLISHED: 13:47 22 August 2006 | UPDATED: 10:42 06 May 2010

Gerald Wells outside the surgery

Gerald Wells outside the surgery

ANGER and disappointment greeted the news that Dr Rajpreet Bhati had failed in her attempt to take over the Sandy surgery of the late Dr Kris Reddy. Despite a vigorous campaign by patients who gathered over 2,000 signatures on a petition, Bedfordshire Hea

ANGER and disappointment greeted the news that Dr Rajpreet Bhati had failed in her attempt to take over the Sandy surgery of the late Dr Kris Reddy.

Despite a vigorous campaign by patients who gathered over 2,000 signatures on a petition, Bedfordshire Heartlands NHS Primary Care Trust announced on Monday the surgery and its 2,700 patients will be handed over to ChilversMcCrea Healthcare.

The company has significant experience running 20 GP practices across the UK.

But at the Sandy surgery there was an air of deep disappointment with surgery manager Gerald Wells saying: “We are all very upset by the announcement because the patients worked so hard to support Dr Bhati.”

Dr Bhati joined Dr Ted Gilpin at the Sandy surgery after the shock death of Dr Reddy and quickly became well liked by patients.

“I don’t think for one moment they will be very happy by the Trust’s decision or whether patient power can overturn what has happened,” said Mr Wells.

“We tried the best we could to get what the patients wanted which is what matters and Dr Bhati is of course bitterly disappointed with the outcome.

“Patients will say their views have not been taken into account and we will see over the coming days how they react.

“One must remember the Trust will not ratify the appointment until September 28 but this announcement for us means the appointment of ChilversMcCrea just needs rubber stamping.”

The tender by ChilversMcCrea Healthcare was heard by the Trust on Wednesday last week along with Dr Bhati’s and two others and approved by the board later that day.

Trust deputy director of primary care Carol Madden denied the Trust had not listened to patients, saying: “The PCT considered very carefully the views of local patients who have made it clear they value highly a personal service and continuity of care, patient centred services, same day appointments and a central location of premises.

“I know a number of patients have vigorously expressed their support for Dr Bhati. We have listened to these views and we are grateful to both Dr Bhati and Dr Ted Giblin for providing locum cover over the past few months.

“We are confident we have made the best choice for the patients.”

The Trust is to arrange a meeting for patients to meet Dr Sarah Chilvers and Dr Rory McCrea to exchange views and find out more about their plans and will be writing to all patients to inform them of the outcome.

One of the people behind the campaign to keep Dr Bhati at the surgery was local resident and chairman of Biggleswade and District Pensioners’ Association Ken Lynch who said: “This decision is disgraceful and we will fight it. We want the right to an appeal and will be having another meeting and hopefully confronting the Trust.”


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