PUBLISHED: 11:09 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:11 06 May 2010
IT IS D-Day for a doctor s surgery fighting for its survival. For three months the future of the surgery in St Neots Road, Sandy, has been uncertain since the death of Dr Kris Reddy in February. It is feared Bedfordshire Heartlands Primary Care Trust will
IT IS D-Day for a doctor's surgery fighting for its survival.
For three months the future of the surgery in St Neots Road, Sandy, has been uncertain since the death of Dr Kris Reddy in February.
It is feared Bedfordshire Heartlands Primary Care Trust will close the surgery and disperse its 2,700 patients to the two other surgeries in Sandy.
Yesterday (Wednesday) a Trust panel turned down the business plans from two neighbouring surgeries to absorb the St Neots Road practice.
But having initially refused to consider a plan from the doctor currently running the practice, Dr Raypreet Bharti, saying it was submitted too late, panel members are recommending to the PCT board that GP practices and other providers of primary medical services nationally be invited to apply to take over the surgery.
The panel's recommendation was due to be put before the main board of Bedfordshire Heartlands PCT today (Thursday).
"Every option must be considered very carefully as a priority but I am happy to continue here," said Dr Bharti.
"They should listen to the patients who want the surgery to continue and I am willing to do the job.
"My main concern is the clinical care of so many patients. I have given a plan in writing."
Speaking about fears that the surgery could close, surgery manager Gerald Wells said: "It's given our patients a little more hope that at least the surgery will now stay open.
"The town has enjoyed three doctors' surgeries since 1992 when Sandy had 10,000 people. But now it has 15,000 it doesn't make sense to close one of the surgeries down.
"I'm a little concerned that it's going to be advertised nationally because there is one plan by a doctor already working here. We really have to wait now.
"We're pleased we've got by the first round. And we're one-nil up at the moment."
Over 1,000 patients have signed a petition to keep the surgery open and if the PCT closes there will be bitter and angry repercussions.
The PCT said in a statement this week: "It was a local process to receive business plans and at the time nobody at the late Dr Reddy's surgery was available to put forward a business case to meet the clinical services at the surgery."
Ken Lynch, chairman of the Biggleswade and District Pensioners' Association, said: "The battle has been won by the people regarding Dr Reddy's surgery.
"I feel the decision made by the Bedfordshire Heartlands PCT is an excellent result and Dr Bharti can bid on equal grounds as everybody else and that's what we wanted.
"We're absolutely delighted for the time and the effort of everyone involved."
The PCT deputy director of primary care Carol Madden said: "The panel considered the applications received on a range of criteria and came to the conclusion that they did not sufficiently meet them, particularly in terms of the patient perspective and value of money.
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