A GP surgery in Norfolk is set to close.

Blakeney Surgery in north Norfolk will permanently close after a final decision was made by the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) today (May 7).

Holt Medical Practice, which runs the site, applied to close the surgery last year after controversially withdrawing its dispensary and GP appointments before the pandemic. 

It claimed running the surgery was costing more than it received in funding, and that the building would need improvements worth £116,000 to bring it up to modern standards.

The decision now leaves elderly people in the rural village and surrounding areas at risk of being cut off from healthcare services.

READ MORE: Locals fearing the worst as rural Norfolk surgery is set to close

Eastern Daily Press: A decision has been made to close Blakeney Surgery in north NorfolkA decision has been made to close Blakeney Surgery in north Norfolk (Image: Supplied)

Blakeney has a population of about 700, with more than 40pc of residents being over 65.

The closure means they face journeys of up to five hours via public transport to get to Melton Constable Surgery, the nearest branch of Holt Medical Practice.

Even to get to Kelling, where Holt Medical Practice is based, would mean a six to seven-mile journey.

Blakeney residents, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker, and district and parish councillors were amongst those opposing today's decision. 

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Steve Blatch, chief executive at NNDC, said: "The proposed closure of the Blakeney Surgery goes against the principles of patients being at the heart of everything the NHS does. 

"It places elderly and vulnerable residents at a disadvantage in being able to access primary healthcare – in terms of independence and cost - and represents the loss of another service to rural communities in north Norfolk, alongside banking services, dental services, pharmacy services and the availability of affordable housing.

"All of which are contributing to the fundamental change in the structure and viability of communities across rural north Norfolk."