Costessey residents make plea for Beechcroft Surgery to be saved at packed-out public meeting

A clear message was last night sent by residents and parish councillors about the future of a doctors' surgery - please don't close it.

Costessey Parish Council held a public meeting at Breckland Hall, packed-out with more than 200 residents, about a consultation on the Beechcroft Surgery, New Costessey.

On January 28, a 90-day consultation process began over its possible closure because a partner in the surgery left in December and another will be leaving in June, leaving the practice with only six partners.

Three representatives from the Taverham Partnership, which owns Beechcroft Surgery and Taverham Surgery on Sandy Lane, fielded questions about the surgery's future.

No one from the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Primary Care Trust, which the partnership is contracted with, attended the meeting ahead of private meetings planned for today.

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Andrew Stronach, project manager for the consultation, sought to ease immediate fears, saying: 'No decisions have been made and won't be for some months yet. All of the options are open and being explored.

'Maybe somebody else will be interested in taking on the surgery. Maybe some patients will come to the Taverham surgery and others to other surgeries. It is proving very difficult to recruit GPs but all options are still open.'

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Tim East put forward a proposition to 'completely reject any proposal by the Taverham Partnership to close Beechcroft Surgery' which was unanimously supported by the parish council and overwhelmingly supported by residents.

The next stage in the process will come at another public meeting, organised by the Taverham Partnership, which is currently planned for Thursday, March 1, at 3pm, at the Costessey Centre on Longwater Lane.

At the end of the meeting Mr East encouraged people to write to the PCT to make their views clear, by writing to Natalie Williams, head of engagement, NHS Norfolk and Waveney, Common Lane North, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 9BN or email

- Are you organising a protest? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or

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