Lessons must be learnt from the closure of Penge’s Trinity Medical Centre, a ward councillor for the area has said.

A formal decision to close the facility will be made at a meeting of Bromley’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee on Thursday, with no public or press present after the physical meeting was shut down due to coronavirus fears.

According to a CCG spokesperson, the decision will be made in a closed virtual meeting with no facility to allow the public to dial in.

The move will see more than 5,000 patients forced to register elsewhere, with ward member for Penge and Cator Simon Jeal saying “the timing of this could not be worse” amid the global outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

“My main concern in the handover process is patients – many of whom are among the most vulnerable – having to potentially put themselves in danger to register with other centres,” Cllr Jeal told the local democracy reporting service.

Although raising concerns over a lack of scrutiny of the CCG’s decision to shut the centre – the proposal has never fronted a council health committee – he said holding the meeting in private was appropriate given the extraordinary circumstances.

“This is being held behind closed doors due to the exceptional times we’re in, so I do support that as a one off,” he said.

“Given the vulnerable may have wanted to attend, it’s the right thing to do if the CCG hasn’t found any other way to have it.”

However, he said the lack of scrutiny throughout the process, as well as the dismal lack of chances for patients to have their say on the proposal, was a concern.

“None of this has been great,” he said.

“The real shame here is there was no consultation for those who need the centre the most – there was no other options (looked at),” he said.

“Both the CCG and the council need to be looking at what steps and processes were taken here.”

He added he could “really understand the frustration and concerns patients feel” at the removal of a well-performing medical centre in a deprived area of the borough.

“It’s putting pressure on other surgeries at a time when they’re already under massive pressure due to the pandemic,” he said.

However he held off sharper criticism of the authorities involved, given the scale of the coronavirus outbreak confronting them now.

“At the moment, we need to support our NHS workers and the huge challenges they’re facing at the moment,” he said.

“While the process hasn’t been perfect, the CCG and council officers need all the support they can get during these difficult times.”

The decision to close the centre was previously meant to be made in December, but was hooked on the day, with the CCG citing the upcoming general election as the reason for the delay.

The closure comes after the long-time GPs who ran the practice for 24 years retired last year, according to the CCG’s now-removed report.

Two extensions to the care-taking lease were subsequently signed while the CCG explored a long-term home for the centre.

However, the CCG stated that no available premises were available within the area before the current lease expires in March 2020.

The CCG is confident those patients will be able to be accommodated by five other practices within 1.2 miles of the medical centre.

The lease at the site, under new management, has been extended until June 30 to give patients more time to find a new GP practice.

Primary care services at the site are still expected to cease from the end of March.