Rackheath GP service scrapped after being unable to secure funding to refurbish building
- Credit: Archant
A village GP service has been scrapped after it was unable to secure funding to refurbish the building it operated from.
The weekly surgery, on Newman Road in Rackheath, had provided people with medical care and advice for more than 60 years.
But it has now had to close due to the 'unsuitable condition' of its premises and a lack of NHS funding for its refurbishment.
Fran Whymark, Wroxham ward councillor for Broadland, said the surgery's usage had fallen considerably in recent years.
It is understood that doctors were seeing as few as three people during its opening hours every Wednesday morning.
However, Mr Whymark added that a proper medical centre was now one of the top priorities for the village.
A Care Quality Commission inspection highlighted 'some issues' with the surgery building, which is also used by Spectacles at Home.
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Rackheath Parish Council said it had to give advice concerning smoke alarms and emergency signage following a fire risk assessment in September.
While alternative sites were considered for the satellite service, including the Cabin on Salhouse Road, there was not enough funding available.
Mr Whymark said: 'We had looked at alternatives for the service, but it is down to NHS England and its lack of funding. So now we have to wait.
'We hope that within the next five years we will have a permanent medical facility in the village.'
Proposals for up to 4,000 new homes in the north of Rackheath include the potential for a new medical practice.
A spokesman for North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said the closure of the service in December was an 'operational decision'.
It had been run through the Hoveton and Wroxham Medical Centre, which is located around five miles away.
The spokesman said the CCG had been working with the practice and NHS England to find a way forward.
Myra Wright, 69, who lives next door to the surgery building, which was built in 1954, said: 'My husband has dementia and I have to take him to the Wroxham surgery. He can walk now, but in the future, that surgery [in Rackheath] may well have been handy.'
Spectacles at Home is still operating from the building.