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MP and councillors welcome King's Lynn surgery reprieve

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Politicians on all sides have welcomed the U-turn which looks set to save a Lynn medical practice from closure.

Earlier today, health chiefs announced that the Fairstead Surgery is set to remain open while alternative options for care provision are considered.

The move follows a lengthy campaign by patients' representatives, which was supported across the political spectrum.

Save Fairstead Surgery Group, Councillors, Patients, PPG Representatives and Residents, outside the surgery with Banner. (7249238)
Save Fairstead Surgery Group, Councillors, Patients, PPG Representatives and Residents, outside the surgery with Banner. (7249238)

And Gary Howman, a Labour borough councillor for the Fairstead ward, said the reprieve, which is due to be discussed at a West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) committee meeting next Friday, January 31, was a victory for "people power."

He said: "The community all stood together to oppose the idea. We persuaded Vida and the NHS to listen and it is to their credit that they did.

"There is now a promise that the NHS will look to extend services on the Fairstead and explore options to improve the existing building or build a new facility. The future now looks positive for patients."

Conservative county councillor Thomas Smith, whose Gaywood South division includes Fairstead, paid particular tribute to the surgery's patient participation group for its leadership of the campaign against the closure plan.

He said: “This decision, right and just though it is, would likely not have been reached were it not for the considerable effort and dedication of residents in supporting their surgery.

"As a councillor it has been my considerable pleasure to work with them for the right outcome."

In a statement issued this lunchtime, the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, whose primary care committee will discuss the issue at a meeting in Lynn next Friday, said the impetus from the change of heart had come from the surgery's operator, Vida Healthcare.

It had previously argued that the surgery should close and its patients be given the choice of transferring to other sites it operates in Gaywood or North Lynn.

But West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long said it now appeared "sense has prevailed" on the issue.

He added: "It's good that the CCG is looking at it more holisitically. We need to see increased investment."

North West Norfolk MP James Wild tweeted the announcement was welcome, adding: "Now there must be an open dialogue on the way forward."

And Independent councillor Alexandra Kemp added: "It's good that the CCG has listened and the Fairstead Surgery is going to stay open."

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