Fulham Medical Centre with posters in the windows
August 21, 2023
Thousands of Fulham residents could be left without a GP following the sale of the majority of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions to neighbouring Chelsea FC.
The Fulham Medical Practice, which cares for over 6,500 local people, including vulnerable residents of both the Stoll and the wider community, is warning that the sale, which has been confirmed in principle, might force it to close.
Under the sale, which is reportedly worth around £50 million, Stoll would only retain 20 flats out of the current total of 157 at the iconic Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions on Fulham Road. The veterans’ charity adds that it would not retain any other properties on the 1.2 acre site.
The site is next to Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge stadium
This means The Fulham Medical Practice, situated within the mansions, would lose its long-established home.
This week Dr Tim McNicholas and Dr Libby Pearson, partners at the practice and familiar faces to many residents, texted patients with a message headed ‘Urgent Help Needed’.
Their message says, “ As you may be aware Sir Oswald Stoll is currently in the process of selling the site to Chelsea Football Club so they can expand.
“The Fulham Medical Centre has been here for over 28 years leasing the premises from Sir Oswald Stoll and there are currently no plans for a surgery in any future development.
“This will mean the surgery may have to close leaving 6,500+ patients without a GP.”
The charity says it can provide a better service to veterans by relocating from the current facilities
The sale is currently subject to a consultation with residents which continues until 20 September and doctors at The Fulham Medical Practice are urging patients to take part.
They say: “We would very much appreciate any feedback you could give the Sir Oswald Stoll board about the importance of keeping the surgery remaining before they make their decision about the sale.
“ Many thanks for your support and we hope to continue providing the good care we currently do for the foreseeable future.”
The doctors say that when completing the response, people should enter The Fulham Medical Practice as the tenant’s name and flat number.
Stoll describes itself as the leading provider of housing to vulnerable veterans. Its Board of Trustees says it reviewed 13 bids for the iconic site before choosing Chelsea FC to ensure the best possible outcome for Stoll’s beneficiaries and for the charity, and claims the proposed sale would enable it to establish new properties and better services for veterans.
Stoll reviewed 13 bids before selecting the one from Chelsea FC
As well as the original Fulham Road site, which dates back to 1916, the charity has other homes in Chiswick, East Acton, Hounslow and Aldershot.
Chair of Stoll’s Trustees Air Vice-Marshal (retired) Ray Lock said, “Many of the properties on our Fulham site were built over a century ago and will require major upgrades to meet future regulations. Without this investment from the proposed sale it would not be feasible to provide the quality of accommodation and services we need to offer long term to veterans across the UK.
“Refurbishing the site to ensure that it meets necessary Government housing standards and that the properties serve as energy efficient, modern and comfortable homes for our residents would cost a minimum of £10 million; these are funds which the charity simply does not currently have.
“Even beyond this cost, new facilities and further investment would be needed to meet statutory housing requirements; the reality is the site at Fulham is unsustainable for the long term.”
You can read the statement in full, plus a Charter on its commitment to its tenants here.
The new owners of Chelsea FC Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital have not yet commented on the proposed sale and insiders say that buying the extra land does not automatically mean they will stay at Stamford Bridge and rebuild the stadium.
A move to a new location has not been ruled out, with the club rumoured to be considering the vast development space at Earls Court - though a masterplan for its future is already in place and spokesman said, “There is no football stadium in our masterplan.”
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