Deer Park Medical Centre patients urged to find new surgery

Deer Park medical centre
Image caption Deer Park Medical Centre is due to close on 24 March

The health secretary has ordered a GP surgery to shut over patient safety concerns, leaving 4,000 people looking for new doctors.

Jeremy Hunt said patient safety was behind the decision to close Deer Park Medical Centre in Witney, Oxfordshire, on 24 March.

Witney MP Robert Courts had said the "vital community asset" needed to stay.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said it had been unable to reach a deal with a GP service provider.

It described it as an "unsuccessful procurement process" in which the "contract value was offered at a significantly higher price than that paid to other practices in Oxfordshire".

The decision to shut the practice has been referred to an independent referral panel, but it is not due to report back until 11 April, after the date of the closure.

OCCG said it was told it should go ahead with the closure by Mr Hunt "as continuing the existing service is not now a safe or practical option".

It added: "The Secretary of State has advised that in the interest of safety and continued access to care, patients should now reregister with one of the alternative local practices (a patient will need to live within the practice boundary) with space available on their lists.

"Patients who do not register with a new practice risk being unable to easily access medical care from a GP.

"All the alternative practices are happy to help make the process of changing surgeries as swift and as simple as possible."

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