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New care fears raised over King's Lynn surgery axe plan

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The proposed closure of a Lynn doctors’ surgery is already affecting nearby practices even though a decision on the plan has yet to be made, it has been claimed.

Public views are currently being sought on the proposal to shut the Fairstead Surgery, which health chiefs say is no longer fit for purpose.

Fairstead Surgery GV King's Lynn. (13092012)
Fairstead Surgery GV King's Lynn. (13092012)

But some residents who use the Gayton Road Health Centre, one of the two alternative surgeries proposed for Fairstead patients, say they are already finding it harder to access treatment.

And they have backed campaigners’ calls for the closure proposal to be scrapped.

A public consultation on plans by Vida Healthcare to close the Fairstead Surgery and offer its patients the choice of being treated at either the Gayton Road practice or the St Augustines Surgery in North Lynn began earlier this month.

They say the measure is the only viable option for providing long-term care.

But some Gayton Road patients have now added their voices to calls for a rethink, claiming that people registered at Fairstead are already being encouraged to go to Gayton Road for treatment.

Gayton Road patient Michael Walker said: “If the Fairstead people go to Gayton Road it’s going to put enormous pressure on Gayton Road and you just can’t get an appointment very easily.

“What they should be doing is building a new practice on Fairstead.”

His wife, Elizabeth, said it was now harder for them to get appointments when they need them, partly because of the loss of an online system which means appointments can only be made in person or by phone.

And she believes Gayton Road will bear the brunt of any closure, because it is nearer to Fairstead than St Augustines.

She said: “We are already feeling the effects of the changes.”

Springwood ward councillor, and fellow Gayton Road patient, Jo Rust, said more information was needed about how Vida planned to expand the Gayton Road practice, because of space limitations there.

She said: “Moving all Fairstead patients to Gayton Road or North Lynn is bound to have an impact.”

But Ana Weston, head of people and governance for Vida Healthcare, said yesterday: “We always welcome feedback around the services we provide.

“If patients are finding it hard to get an appointment at Gayton Road then we would encourage them to contact the Practice Coordinator or her assistant, who will help them find the best solution to fit their needs.

“Our proposals mean building more consultation rooms and making more appointments available to patients.

“We would continue to encourage members of the public to respond to the consultation so we can hear their views.”

The consultation, which ends on August 30, can be found here.

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