Sadness as top Dunstable GP surgery Chiltern Hills is to close in May

Chiltern Hills Medical Practice. Credit: Google Maps
Chiltern Hills Medical Practice. Credit: Google Maps

Dunstable’s ‘best’ GP surgery is to close, despite its popularity with residents.

IntraHealth Chiltern Hills Medical Practice, High Street North, was voted best GP surgery in the town during March 2016, with 89.2% of its patients saying they would recommend it during an NHS Choices GP Patient Survey. Yet despite the fantastic results, the surgery is closing its doors this May.

One resident wrote to the Gazette, claiming: “Why is the best of ten surgeries around Dunstable to close? It has so many patients and is the only surgery in the north of the town. Nowhere else is a patch on Chiltern Hills.

“When my husband was ill the doctor got him into hospital after attending a home visit. The doctor walked over from the surgery to us. Where can people get that kind of help and care today?”

Dr Alvin Low, Chairman of Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “On May 31 2017, the contract between NHS England and Chiltern Hills Surgery will end, meaning the surgery will close.

“This decision was made after NHS England undertook a detailed report into primary care provision in Dunstable to make sure that we could continue to provide sustainable, quality care for residents. Chiltern Hills Surgery is served by one temporary GP and based in a property that is difficult to access for patients with mobility issues. We recognise this is a difficult decision for many patients and have taken steps to signpost them to other GP practices that are close to the surgery.

“We’re committed to delivering the best possible care for residents in Dunstable and have recently secured approval and funding to develop a Full Business Case for an Integrated Health and Care Hub in Dunstable.

“With Central Bedfordshire Council, we have identified potential sites for the new Hub which will provide an integrated health and social care facility with GP practices, community, mental health, social care and some outpatients services.”