Why closing Maddock surgery is bad for the community’s heath

Maddock Way Surgery

Brandon Estate’s only GP surgery, Maddock way surgery, is set to close at the end of March.

The borough’s CCG’s (Clinical Commission Group) PCCC’s (Primary Care Commissioning Committee) has asked patients to register at another local practice. Local people have also been advised to register after an upcoming consultation with residents and stakeholders. The consultation has been scheduled for the 28th of January 2020.

A critical success factor lay in the notable lack of interest from any other surgery or group to plug the gap the closure leaves behind. Locals are not aware of any active procurement consultation, and according to local paper, (Southwark News), the surgery is considered too small for any sustainable impact on community health and local economy. Thankfully, the same paper recently reported that “another GP practice has now expressed interest in the space and will pitch its business case on the 28th of January”.

But what do local people (young, middle-ages, and elderly) think? My work on the estate reveals the reservations below:

  1. The surgery’s proximity to local shared services, its location, and the ease of use.
  2. The surgery is old, unhygienic, and the service is poor.

Though many of the discussion surrounding the closure remains silo-d, a report from Southwark Primary Care Commissioning Committee, indirectly highlights the surgery’s unsustainability – both financially and non-financially.

Personally speaking, closing Maddock Way surgery jeopardises our collective effort and achievements on Brandon Estate, till date – Here are my 3 top reasons why:

1. Opportunity cost – Some have reported that the “closure would ‘save £21,000 a year“, while some suggest that Maddock Way’s surgery closure can “potentially deliver savings of £17,282 a year for reimbursable rent” and “£4,000 per year for rates”. The thing is, no one can say for sure if the decision is good or bad, it depends on the next-steps. Let’s not forget, Southwark is one of the few boroughs in the UK still employing Pharmacy First, only!

2. Elderly and ageing population – Although young-people have said that they prefer the service of Commercial Way surgery, while some are not aware of the surgery. The nearest surgery is seven minutes’ walk away from Brandon Estate, the closure of Maddock surgery would have a negative impact on the estate’s ageing and elderly population.

3. Social prescription & shared services – As I mentioned earlier, Southwark still employs Pharmacy First. From a geographical perspective, Maddock Way is a fine blueprint for any future social prescription and shared service design. This is due to the location, and proximity to local services and supporting community organizations.

The decision has come at a pivotal point. At a time when the community looks to put violence of recent years behind and build on a better 2019.

Personally, I hoped to see more local organizations connect to provide new shared and social prescription services. I hoped to see Google Digital Garage’s route-master buses on Maddock way supporting locals with technology.

Southwark is one of the few boroughs in London and the UK still employing Pharmacy First only. At the moment, it is quite difficult to ascertain whether the closure is for the better, or for the worse – at least, until we know more about potential take-overs and the vision of any take-over.

We did it!! Appreciate the local MP, Neil Coyle, for his support and good work in the community.

Feature course – Improving your health on-line

There are lots of ways you can use the internet to support your health. You can make appointments online, order repeat prescriptions and find advice on specific symptoms and conditions.


Further reading

Published by John Adewole

Senior User Researcher

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