Surgery’s appeal is turned down meaning it will not reopen as medical practice in Lowestoft

Oulton Medical Centre. Picture: Nick Butcher

Oulton Medical Centre. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A GP surgery shut with 'immediate effect' by a court order amid fears for the safety and welfare of patients has lost an appeal against its closure – meaning it will not reopen as a medical practice.

Oulton Medical Practice and its satellite branch, Marine Parade Surgery, were shut by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after concerns over a 'lack of clinical leadership and a failure to learn from errors, meaning patient well-being was placed at risk'.

Urgent interim arrangements were put in place for more than 5,000 patients affected by the closure but the surgery owners appealed, with Oulton's patient participation group (PPG) pointing to a recent survey which showed people's satisfaction with the service.

However, a spokesman for the CQC said: 'When we propose to take enforcement action, our decision is open to challenge by the provider and an appeal was lodged by the provider.

'The First Tier Tribunal confirmed CQC's decision to cancel the Provider's registration and concluded that cancellation was proportionate to the risk and appropriate.'

Oulton Medical Centre, on Meadow Road, is now listed on the website Rightmove, as a 'Commercial Development for sale' for £395,000.

Carolyn Larsen, Head of Commissioning for NHS England (East) said: 'NHS England confirms that all former patients of the Oulton Medical Centre who have been receiving care from the Bridge Road and Victoria Road surgeries will be contacted by letter during January and assigned a new permanent GP.

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'It is envisaged that most patients will be able to stay with their current GP practice but other practices in the area may be asked to assist by taking on patients.'

In addition, the CQC confirmed that an appeal against the closure was submitted, but it was decided that their initial decision was 'proportionate to the risk and appropriate.'

The NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are also planning to meet with the Bridge Road GP Practice and Victoria Road Surgery, to see if they have the capacity to provide a long term service.

Jane Murray, Councillor for the Oulton ward added: 'This has caused a lot of stress for the staff and patients particularly elderly people, who are finding it difficult to travel to different surgeries.

'The doctors are having to work late at night and the strain is on the staff, the patients moving there, and patients already there – who are having to wait a while to get an appointment.

'We are not getting at anybody, it is just a really difficult and unprecedented situation they are raising to.'

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