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GPs 'still in dark' after Q&O visit advice

A singlehanded practice in

Essex is to stay open after

patients won a victory over their local PCT, which had threatened to close the surgery when the current GP retired.

More than 150 patients attended a meeting at Maldon and South Chelmsford PCT last month to hear the news that the Hoppit surgery in Danbury had been saved following their campaign.

The PCT had launched a consultation on the surgery's future after Dr Ashley Pain's retirement at the end of September, but patients feared the trust favoured larger practices.

Following a vociferous cam- paign and a petition signed by more than 1,000 protesters, the PCT has agreed to advertise for another singlehanded GP to take over the practice.

Practice manager Sally Barber said: 'It was a great relief, this has been going on since Easter.'

Dr Pain, who has been on sick leave for two years, took over the practice in 1984 and converted the current premises in 1990.

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