Threatened GP surgery almost certain to close

Fairstead surgery is set to close. Photo: Google Maps

Fairstead surgery is set to close. Photo: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

A GP surgery which has been under review looks set to close.

Vida Healthcare, which operates the Fairstead Surgery in King's Lynn, says it is no longer fit for purpose.

It wants to close it and transfer patients to a surgery around a mile away on the Gayton Road.

Norfolk Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, will be discussing the move when it meets on Thursday.

The surgery was deemed not fit for purpose by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2012, having not complied with requirements laid out by the Health and Social Care Act.

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A report to county councillors says closing Fairstead and expanding Gayton Road is its favouired option.

It says building a new surgery at Fairstead or refurbishing existing premises were both deemed by NHS England to have failed a value for money assessment.

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Fairstead councillor Margaret Wilkinson said that plans were originally in place to rebuild the surgery, however part of the site's car park has now been sold off with planning permission for eight houses.

Mrs Wilkinson said: We'll be doing our best to keep the health centre open but it's quite run down. Residents and patients obviously are not happy."

Mrs Wilkinson expressed concern for elderly and disabled residents who she felt would struggle to get to the Gayton Road and St Augustine's branches. Operator Vida Healthcare said it would work individually with patients who express specific concerns regarding access to services.

Fellow ward councillor Gary Howman said he was hoping to get the planning application to devleeop the car park heard in public as the parking space would be required regardless of whether the surgery remained open, as they were also used by residents, local shops and takeaways.

Mr Howman said some patients had been attending the surgery for 30 years. The councillor explained that the Fairstead area had a number of elderly living schemes from which residents would struggle to get to Gayton Road, Mr Howman added that Gayton Road was "overloaded already".

Planning permission for a new two-storey surgery was approved on December 23 2010. A planning application for the car park has so far gathered 29 objections.

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