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Practice to open on supermarket site following nearby closure

A CCG has approved the opening of a practice on the site of a Morrisons supermarket, following the closure of a nearby practice servicing 7,000 patients in West Sussex.

NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG said it had agreed with the supermarket chain to open a practice at one of their sites in Littlehampton, with two practices expressing an interest in using the premises.

It follows the closure of the Arun Medical Group gave its notice to NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG in May, with one site closing on 30 May and the other due to close on 31 October.

Pulse has already reported that nearby practices have been forced to re-open their practice lists, which were temporarily closed to new patients, to absorb over 7,000 patients.

But the CCG has now said it has secured medical facilities in a Morrisons supermarket to help with patient demand.

Morrisons has had to agree to build community premises to get planning persmission for the new superstore. A new housing development adjacent to the superstore has increased the need for a GP practice in the area.

Sarah Henley, head of primary care at the CCG, said: ‘It is a difficult time for general practice in Arun and we are working very closely with the existing practices in Littlehampton and surrounding area to ensure they have the support and mechanisms in place to take on the additional patients from Arun Medical Group.

‘GP practices in Arun have temporarily closed their lists but I can confirm that practices… have agreed to open them.’

The CCG has agreed with Morrisons to open a medical facility on their site and has planning approval from Arun.

Ms Henly told Pulse: ‘I can confirm that we have agreed to take the business case for the Morrisons site forward. There are two GP Practices who have expressed an interest in utilising the Morrisons site if it is given the green light.’

The partners at Arun Medical Group said: ‘We are extremely saddened and sorry that the practice has to close. It was a difficult decision for the partners to make and we truly wished we’d been able to find a way to stay open.

‘Like many GP practices all over the UK we have struggled to recruit new GPs and with the increase in demand for GP services in Littlehampton we just don’t have enough doctors to safely provide the high level of quality care patients are used to.’