Jon Cruddas MP: Worrying reduction of GP services just as Havering’s population is set to rise

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture: Andrew Achilleos

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture: Andrew Achilleos - Credit: Archant

Recent years have seen a worrying contraction of GP and other primary health services and surgeries across the south of Havering.

The latest in this is the closure or, as the Clinical Commissioning Group prefer to call it movement, in the new year of the Spring Farm surgery in Upminster Road North.

Patients, some of whom have been registered at the surgery for over 30 years, will have to travel to the South Hornchurch Medical Centre near the Cherry Tree.

I am not sure that elderly patients, or those with disabilities or parents with young children will see it as a positive move, more like a closure of a local vital service.

My concern is that this seems to be part of a strategy being implemented by stealth. The surgery that used to be on Mardyke estate went, as did the Mungo Park surgery, and health facilities in Rainham and South Hornchurch were pared back.

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This would all be bad enough and unacceptable if there were no plans for a population expansion in the area, but just look around at what is happening in Rainham and south Hornchurch.

Over the next four years the area will see another 10,000 new residents just from the housing developments now taking place.

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If we do not see a real increase and improvement in primary health and GP services across the area the local community will be failed and massive pressures will be placed on Queen’s Hospital.

I am in discussion with NHS England and the local CCG to bring these issues to the fore and to argue for additional health services for the south of Havering.

To strengthen this case I have launched a petition which can be accessed on my website

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