Apologies for disruption to Terrington St John doctors

The company which has taken over the Terrington St John GP practice has apologised to patients who have suffered problems getting through on the phone.

First Health has set up a surgery in the village scout hut, after talks on buying the village health centre fell through.

It plans to bring in temporary buildings and hopes to build a new health centre for the practice, which services more than 5,000 patients across the Fens, next year.

In a letter to patients, it says: 'The major issues have been the use of premises owned by the Scout Group as an interim measure and some patients' difficulties in getting through by telephone.

'There were problems redirecting the number to the Scout Hut, which has no landlines but, but First Health are working with BT to find a solution.'

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A temporary surgery will be delivered to the village playing field by lorry this weekend.

Ian Ayres, NHS Norfolk's director of strategy, said: 'We recognise completely that patients are disappointed that the old practice premises is not in use. We and First Health are too.

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'The building is owned by the previous practice which is an independent business and an agreement to buy or lease the building has not been possible at this stage.

'I give my assurance that much is being done to normalise the situation in Terrington St John.'

In the letter to patients, First Health chief executive Neil Wilson pledged to keep patients informed.

'We can assure you that we are doing our utmost to make your services and care as efficient and responsive to your needs as we can in the circumstances,' he said.

'I too would like to thank the community for their patience and all of the members of the Practice for working so hard for patients during this transition.'

Current opening times are 9am - 5pm, with the last GP appointment 4.30pm.

The surgery can be contacted by calling 01945 880471 or 01553 828884.

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