EXCLUSIVE: Mill Stream Medical Centre in Storrington to close

JPCT 030514 S14190924x Storrington. Mill Stream Medical Centre. Dr Joanna Bailey -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140605-151643001
JPCT 030514 S14190924x Storrington. Mill Stream Medical Centre. Dr Joanna Bailey -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140605-151643001

A Storrington GP practice will be closing at the end of the month, the NHS has announced.

Around 4,300 patients will be forced to find an alternative health service when Mill Stream practice shuts its doors on Saturday May 31.

It follows intense negotiations between medical professionals and the NHS which was ultimately fruitless.

The NHS will now write to inform patients of the closure and how to register to alternative practices.

This week Philip Circus (Con, Chanctonbury), chairman at Horsham District Council, said the situation is ‘putting lives at risk’.

Mr Circus, who is also county councillor for Storrington, said: “The position with medical services in Storrington is critical and other medical practices are struggling to cope, not least because of the fall-out from the Mill Stream Practice which has been a consequence of the uncertainty over its future.

“It is quite absurd that we are told that Storrington is a sustainable location for development when the medical facilities in Storrington are struggling to cope and Storrington experiences one of the worst cases of air pollution in the country. And, of course, the air quality problems are a major cause of ill health which themselves put added pressure on to the medical services in Storrington.”

He added: “I have said it before, but I will say it again; the situation in Storrington is putting lives at risk.

“We need to address the air quality issues and we need to secure adequate medical services for the people of Storrington. And we need to make it clear that Storrington is not a sustainable location for major new housing development.”

The NHS did not explain why a decision has been made to close the centre.

A spokesperson for NHS England (Surrey and Sussex) said: “The Mill Stream practice will be closing on May 31 2014. Our priority is to guarantee that patients registered at Mill Stream Practice can continue to access high quality, local GP services.

“We will be writing to all affected patients to inform them how they can register with one of the alternative local GP practices nearby, which are ready to welcome all affected local patients within their boundary.

“There are four local GP practices within the immediate local area who are ready to welcome new patients, these are the Glebe Surgery in Storrington, Pulborough Medical Group, Steyning Health Centre and Billingshurst Surgery.”

For the full story including an exclusive interview with a partner at Mill Stream practice buy today’s County Times newspaper.