Recruitment issues prompt Isle of Wight practice closure
A wife and husband team are to close their GP surgery on the Isle of Wight after recruitment issues at the practice.
GPs Dr Anitha Ande and Dr Vyasa Akundi said the Brading practice and its branch surgery in Lake will close on 31 March next year due to forthcoming retirements and lack of GP cover.
Hundreds of residents tried to save Beech Grove Surgery, including launching a petition, but no-one came forward to take the practice on.
NHS Isle of Wight CCG said the surgery's 4,500 patients will be transferred to other practices.
In a joint statement, Dr Ande and Dr Akundi said it has been a difficult decision to make.
They said: 'We fully appreciate it will cause upset and disappointment to a great many of our patients. This decision has been made in light of forthcoming retirements and additional loss of GP cover.
'Another key factor is that over the last two years there has already been the loss of GP cover which is compounded by the ongoing problems with recruitment.
'We would like to reassure all our current patients that we are still open and they can continue to access all the services that have been provided to date by the practice.'
NHS Isle of Wight CCG managing director Alison Smith said the CCG considered leaving it to patients to choose which practice to move to but felt this could have a detrimental impact on services if one practice was significantly favoured over others.
Patients will now be allocated a practice based on geographical location, but they will still have the ability to choose to apply to, or register with, a practice of their choice.
Ms Smith said: 'We have written directly to patients to inform them of this decision and are holding patient forums for those registered with the practice. This is so patients hear about this decision from us and we can listen and respond to queries and questions.
'We know some patients will be disappointed with this outcome and had hoped for a solution in which the surgeries remained open.'
Elsewhere in the crisis town of Plymouth another GP is set to hand back their contract as the practice is 'too small to be sustainable'.