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Longstanding GP practice to be turned into flats

Local residents in an area of Leicester are trying to block a planning application to turn their old GP surgery into residential property.

The protest, which is in response to a planning application made to the council, comes after the practice relocated following the retirement of the GP contract holder last year. Residents were still holding out hope the old surgery could be reinstated with new GPs running it.

Speaking to the Leicester Mercury, retired GP Dr Jatin Patel said he was sad that he had not been able to find anyone to take over the practice within the premises, where it was launched by his own father.

Dr Patel said: ‘My intention was always to serve the local population and I was there for 30 years. When I retired, I left thinking the surgery would continue but due to circumstances beyond my control it was decided the surgery wasn’t fit for purpose.

‘I felt distraught and that I had let patients down. It has saddened me deeply as the surgery was started by my father.’

The practice, which had 8,000 patients on its list, moved from Melbourne Road and into the Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre last year.

A council report seen by the Leicester Mercury said: ‘While there have been a high level of objections, refusing the application will not guarantee that a user for the premises as a medical centre will come forward.’

Pulse recently revealed as part of the Stop Practice Closures campaign that thousands of patients have already been forced to find a new GP because of closures around the UK.

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