NHS crisis as 20,000 patients served by GPs without buildings

More than 20,000 people now find themselves registered with North Lambeth GP practices which don't have permanent premises, as a second surgery has gone public with its search for a new building.

NHS crisis as 20,000 patients served by GPs without buildings
The Lambeth Walk Group Practice shares its building with a 'free school'

Last month the Waterloo Health Centre in Lower Marsh - which serves 15,000 patients - moved into temporary prefabricated buildings whilst plans for a permanent GP surgery are put into place.

Now the other GP surgery located at the northernmost extremity of Lambeth - the Lambeth Walk Group Practice - has revealed it is searching for a new venue to continue to treat its 8,500 patients.

The Lambeth Walk Group Practice is located just a few yards across the SE11/SE1 border and serves a catchment area that extends across Waterloo, the South Bank and Bankside as far as Southwark Bridge and south to Kennington Park.

The surgery currently operates from a 1950s building which was built as a post-war replacement for the public baths and laundry at the Lambeth Road / Kennington Road junction.

For the past decade the surgery has shared the building with the King's Maths School, a 'free school' set up by King's College London to offer A-level mathematics courses.

King’s College maths free school to open at Lambeth Walk surgery
King’s College London has announced that its sixth form mathematics free school will be located in part of the Lambeth Walk Group Practice surgery building.

Now the GP surgery's lease is coming to an end and the maths school has plans to expand into the space currently used by the practice.

"The Department of Education and King’s College London who own the building have kindly agreed to extend our lease until May 2024," says a note on the practice's website.

The NHS South East London Integrated Care Board has been involved in the search for new premises, with the only option currently on the table being a move to the Ackerman Health Centre nearly a mile and a half further south from Lambeth Walk.

"We recognise that the location is not suitable for our patients and we are working hard to find an alternative solution," according to the Lambeth Walk website.

The website notice continues: "We would like to reassure you that one way or another Lambeth Walk Group Practice will continue to provide high quality general practice services in the local area"

Around 150 patients attended a public meeting last month which was addressed by Vauxhall MP Florence Eshalomi and local councillors.

The combined effect of the premises crisis affecting both of Lambeth's northernmost GP surgeries means that more than 20,000 local people find themselves relying on NHS medical services which don't have settled arrangements for their future locations.

NHS South East London Integrated Care Board recently published its estates and infrastructure strategy for its five boroughs, including Lambeth.

Tags: Health, Lambeth, Waterloo, Education

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