A petition which has gained more than 1,000 signatures bidding to keep a doctors’ surgery in a Suffolk village will be presented to Matthew Hancock MP next week.
The Hopton Surgery, in High Street, and linked with the Stanton Surgery, is run by Doctor Andrew Hassan and Partners, but doubt has been cast for a number of years as to what will happen to the facility when he retires, as it is run from a private house.
Hopton South is a proposed development which would provide further housing, a new doctors’ surgery, and a new village hall, on the old village hall site and Sarsons Field.
But County Councillor for Hopton Joanna Spicer said these plans had been “thrown into confusion.”
“It has been known for some years that the GP surgery in Hopton would not be available when he retires and plans were well advanced for a new GP surgery to be built as part of the proposed new houses and village hall,” she said.
“These plans, which had widespread support from patients and communities have suddenly been thrown in to confusion. To try and establish facts I called a meeting last Monday, March 16, in Barningham Village Hall. This was attended by over 150 people who expressed strong support for the GPs who were all present.
“NHS Executive managers attended and insisted they had not yet made a decision to proceed with the closure of the surgery in Hopton, which would mean the GPs would operate only in Stanton.
“It is not clear yet how a closure decision would be consulted on and what say local people have.”
A statement on the Hopton and Stanton Surgeries website said: “We know some patients have expressed concern about the future provision of services from Hopton and Stanton surgeries.
“Firstly, every member of staff at both surgeries is committed to ensuring patient care remains the top priority and that GP services remain accessible for our patients.
“The GP Partners are currently considering the many options for future planning and no decisions have been taken. As soon as we have more information we will let our patients and partners know.”
Dr Hassan and Partners has about 4,700 registered patients, and for more than half of those Stanton is the nearest surgery. Mr Hancock will subsequently pass the petition on to the Secretary of State.