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Thursday, 24 February, 2000, 15:53 GMT
'Move Shipman's surgery'

Shipman surgery
Patients want Shipman's surgery moved

The GP surgery where serial killer Harold Shipman murdered some of his patients should not re-open in its present form, health watchdogs have said.

The Shipman Trial
Tameside and Glossop Community Health Council (CHC) argues that former patients of the Hyde GP should be spared the trauma of going back to his former surgery.

The CHC has recommended the surgery be moved to another site so it does not serve as a constant reminder to the relatives of Shipman's victims.

West Pennine Health Authority agrees the surgery should be moved, but said it was not feasible for at least three months.

It will always hold memories for the patients and the relatives of people who were murdered
Pauline Davenport, Tameside and Glossop Community Health Council
Pauline Davenport, former chairman of the group, said: "We think it would be better if there was a new start for the practice and the incoming GP who takes it over.

"It will be better for him and the patients, as (the surgery) is a constant reminder of the events which took place there.

"It will always hold memories for the patients and the relatives of people who were murdered. We think it is imperative for the incoming GP to have new premises in Hyde town centre."

Harold Shipman Harold Shipman was jailed for life
It is believed at least five women met their deaths in the state-of-art premises on Market Street, which are currently being run by a locum.

Shipman was jailed for life by Preston Crown Court last month after being found guilty of the murders of 15 female patients.

The Crown Prosecution Service recently announced he would not face further charges in relation to 23 additional murders which have been investigated by police because of the publicity surrounding his first trial.

Shipman was ordered to spend the rest of his life in jail by trial judge Mr Justice Forbes.

An independent inquiry was ordered by Health Minister Alan Milburn following the case, which the community health council, a watchdog for patients using the NHS, wants to be held in public.

Ms Davenport said they wanted the proceedings to be "transparent" and "out in the open".

Vacancy advertised

West Pennine Health Authority, which took over responsibility for Shipman's former practice this month, said plans were underway to advertise for a new GP.

In a statement, the health authority said: "The future location of the practice will be a key issue for the new GP, who the health authority will work closely with in order to get the best option for patients."

Shipman's practice is too large for one GP, the statement continues.

"In the light of public concern and also practical considerations the health authority has decided to ask applicants for the vacancy to provide a service based on a one and half GP service, which is appropriate for 3,000 patients, and to provide the practice in other premises.

"This cannot happen immediately and the current practice will stay in Market Street for at least the next three months."

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See also:
18 Feb 00 |  Health
Shipman escapes further charges
22 Feb 00 |  Health
BMA escapes court over Shipman case
10 Feb 00 |  Health
Shipman struck off
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