As we approach election time and try to see clearly through the fog of cross party accusation and counter accusation, and come to a rational (is it possible!) decision as to who should have the privilege of governing us in the future, it seems appropriate to consider matters much closer to home and the quality of our local representation.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank our MP Stephen Hammond, on behalf of many residents and patients in the Wimbledon Park area, for his enormous help in retaining the Doctors surgery in Vineyard Hill Road.

Faced with the 6 months notice (which is all they are required to give) from NHS England in October last year that the partners were retiring and the building would no longer be available for surgery purposes after the end of March 2015, a public meeting was arranged with patients together with Stephen Hammond, our councillors and senior representatives from NHS England to discuss the closure and options available. Despite the obvious difficulties made clear by the NHS representatives, the meeting voted for retention of the surgery if at all possible.

A solid alliance of the residents association, councillors and Stephen Hammond then achieved over the next few short months what seemed at the outset nigh on impossible, which was the introduction of new doctors to join the partnership and the successful purchase of the building for continuation as a surgery.

The intervention of Stephen Hammond with the Doctors and NHS England at senior level was pivotal in convincing them that the community was serious about the need to retain the surgery. (the only surgery in Wimbledon Park Ward). 

The importance of having the right choice of individual representing us at local level cannot be over emphasised. Ours is but one example of the hard work and dedication that Stephen has displayed in the past. I for one am very hopeful that Stephen will be returned with a large majority which is what his record deserves.’   

Iain Simpson


Wimbledon Park Residents' Association