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Assurances sought over Fairstead Surgery following closure escape

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Campaigners have called for assurances that services will be restored to a Lynn doctors’ surgery which was saved from closure last month.

Health bosses say they want to develop new proposals for the future delivery of care to patients who use the Fairstead Surgery.

But leaders of the practice’s patient participation group say issues with the existing surgery building need to be addressed while plans to either redevelop or replace it are drawn up.

Fairstead Surgery
Fairstead Surgery

Its chairman, Glyn Watkins, told a health overview and scrutiny committee meeting yesterday that the group welcomed the establishment of a new community body as part of the work on future arrangements.

But he argued that matters of safety and compliance with regulation needed to be independently reviewed in the meantime, and services restored.

Those issues were previously blamed by the surgery’s operator, Vida Healthcare, for a reduction in its capacity, though campaigners dispute that.

Mr Watkins asked for assurances that work towards that was taking place, adding: “The community of Fairstead need to see a reversal of the decline.”

Officials of the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), whose primary care committee voted to reject a proposal for the surgery’s closure in January, said the decision would begin the process of establishing how services could be delivered at Fairstead in the short term.

A CCG spokesman said yesterday: “Vida Healthcare is working closely on responding to the feedback it has received during the public consultation and is keen to work with local people and patients on service provision in the area.

“The CCG will be working closely with Vida Healthcare and we are committed to working with a group of local people on what provision of primary care (GP) services will look like in the future.”

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