Two GP surgeries are closed ‘with immediate effect’ in Lowestoft

Oulton Medical Centre has closed. Picture: Nick Butcher

Oulton Medical Centre has closed. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Thousands of patients could have to transfer to new GP surgeries after a court order closed a medical practice 'with immediate effect.'

Two doctors surgeries, with more than 5,000 registered patients in the Lowestoft area, have closed as urgent legal action was taken following 'serious concerns about the service and the risks it presented to patients.'

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has cancelled the registration of Oulton Medical Centre and its satellite branch of Marine Parade Surgery, currently based at Kirkley Mill, in what is 'the first urgent cancellation of a GP's registration' in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

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

As a result, patients requiring urgent medical needs from Oulton were re-directed after 8am yesterday to another practice in Bridge Road, Oulton Broad. Meanwhile the nearby Victoria Road practice provided a service for patients at Kirkley Mill.

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Andy Evans, chief executive of the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), reassured patients that their care remains a priority.

'I know that some patients may be concerned and I want to reassure anyone affected by this decision that we are working with all the local GP practices, NHS England and all other interested parties to make sure that every patient receives the care they need,' Mr Evans said.

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An unannounced inspection was carried out at the clinic in March 2015 and services were rated inadequate and it was placed into special measures.

A further visit took place in October and a spokesman for the CQC said: 'Further concerns were identified in relation to a lack of clinical leadership and a failure to learn from errors meaning patient wellbeing was placed at risk.'

? Patients from the practices with urgent medical concerns should ring 111 and any general concerns should ring the PALS team on 01502 719567.

? For the full story pick up a copy of this week's Journal.

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