DESPITE impassioned pleas from hundreds of residents to save their local GP surgery from closure, it has been confirmed today (Wednesday) Beech Grove Surgery will close and patients will be transferred to other practices.

The Brading practice and its branch surgery in Lake will close in April.

Last month, the wife and husband GP team who run the surgery — Drs Anitha Ande and Vyasa Akundi — said they could no longer cope with rising demand and decreasing resources.

The Isle of Wight NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it had tried to find alternative provision for the surgery's 4,500 patients, but no-one had come forward to take the practice on.

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Managing director Alison Smith said: "Our main priority is, as always, to ensure Island residents get access to safe and good quality primary care services.

"We also considered leaving it to patients to choose which practice they registered with, but felt this could potentially cause services to become unstable if one practice was significantly favoured over others.

“So, after careful consideration it is felt the best decision will be to coordinate a managed transfer of patients to other practices."

The CCG said patients will be written to directly to inform them of the decision with an allocated practice, based on location, but they can choose to apply to a practice of their choice.

Ms Smith said: "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.

"However as this has not been possible, we need to do all we can to safely transfer care to other GP practices."

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In a joint statement, the two Beech Grove doctors said it had been a very difficult decision and one that had not been taken lightly, with added pressure due to a lack of GP recruitment.

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.

"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."

"We would like to thank the CCG and our neighbouring practices for all the support they have given us over the past few years but more importantly the staff at Beech Grove for their understanding, loyalty and perseverance at this difficult time."