Inquiries into closure of two Lowestoft GP surgeries

The Kirkley Mill Health Centre, Lowestoft.

The Kirkley Mill Health Centre, Lowestoft. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Oulton Medical Centre and its satellite branch of Marine Parade Surgery, currently based at Kirkley Mill, were closed this week as urgent legal action was taken following “serious concerns about the service and the risks it presented to patients.”

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) cancelled the registration of the practices in what is the first urgent cancellation of a GP’s registration in East Anglia.

At Norwich Magistrates Court on Tuesday, October 13, the practices were closed under a section 30 order of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

This left thousands of people searching for a new surgery.

Speaking yesterday, Suffolk county councillor for Pakefield, Peter Byatt, said: “Clearly nowhere near enough was done to make the improvements necessary to Oulton Medical Practice and Kirkley Surgery.

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“These practices are in areas of Lowestoft that are very deprived - with many disabled, elderly and vulnerable people making use of these services.

“These people are now left in the lurch, particularly as so many patients will be waiting for seasonal flu injections, with pressure already mounting on other local practices to get this done, and that is unacceptable.

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“The Labour Groups at Suffolk County Council and Waveney District Council shall be making further inquiries in to this matter to ascertain what was done to prevent this closure and what action was taken to improve the practices following their original “inadequate” rating back in March.”

Speaking on the issue earlier this week, Andy Evans, chief executive of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), known locally as HealthEast, added: “We are sorry and recognise this is distressing for patients.

“This is a very unusual and unprecedented situation which affects more than 5,000 patients.”

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