New bus service for East Barnet Health centre patients welcomed

Theresa Villiers, newly re-elected MP for Chipping Barnet, has welcomed the new bus service which NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has started running for between East Barnet Health Centre and Vale Drive Health Centre.

Theresa Villiers said “For over a year, GP practices from East Barnet Health Centre have been displaced to temporary facilities in Vale Drive. This was causing serious problems for their patients. Many were finding it very hard to get to Vale Drive because of problems with parking. Local residents demanded action.”

“Because of an effective campaign by local residents, NHSPS has responded by putting on a free shuttle bus for staff and patients to help them get to Vale Drive. I welcome the fact that this service is now up and running though I regret that it has taken so long.”

“I am in regular contact with NHSPS to urge them to respond to the concerns of local residents on transport and other problems with Vale Drive such as the phone systems. After concerted pressure was applied, NHSPS and BT were finally able to install new phone systems at Vale Drive. The fact that they have now made good on the promise to run a shuttle bus that they made when they met me and residents earlier in the year is good news.”

“I will keep up the pressure to get East Barnet Health Centre re-opened as promised by early October. The latest update from NHSPS is that the refurbishment work is currently on schedule but there are still a number of questions to be settled around the contracts to be agreed with the GPs on the terms on which they will occupy East Barnet Health Centre when they move back in.”

East Barnet Health Centre closed in May last year for removal of asbestos. When it became apparent that the problem was more serious than had been thought, the closure dragged on. Fears grew that it might become permanent. After complaints from Theresa Villiers and patients, NHSPS agreed to carry out a full refurbishment of East Barnet Health Centre. The work is due to finish in early October.