PATIENTS in Brading and Lake have been urged to be patient following the announcement that their GPs are to hand back their contract to provide primary care services.

The NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has received formal notification that the GPs at Brading’s only practice have given six-months notice to return their contract to provide services in the town and the branch surgery at Lake.

The move by the partners at Beech Grove Surgery means that alternative provision will need to be found for their 4,592 registered patients by the start of April, 2020.

The CCG is now planning an options appraisal to ensure all patients registered get continued access to a full range of primary care services.

Alison Smith, the CCG’s managing director, said: “Services are due to continue as usual until the end of March 2020, and patients will still be able to see the same GPs and staff.

"The most important thing is that registered patients continue to use their local GP practice either at Beech Grove and Lake, there is no need to change and we ask patients to ‘do nothing’ until they hear further from us.

“The CCG is writing to the head of household of every patient registered at the practice to inform them about the news, which we fully understand and recognise will come as shock and disappointment to many, especially as Beech Grove and its branch in Lake are highly regarded by their patients.

“Its services are rated as good by the independent Care Quality Commission.

"The CCG will be working very closely with the practice in the coming months ahead, to ensure a smooth transition.

“We are exploring the available opportunities and will complete an options appraisal will need to take into realistic consideration the national issues faced by many practices in the country, including several on the Island, about the issues of GP recruitment and retention.

“We have already started conversations with neighbouring GP practices, and we will write again to all Beech Grove patients when a decision is taken.

"This will hopefully be in a few weeks’ time.

“This news has been extremely upsetting for the staff at the Brading practice, Island practitioners and patients and we would ask that the team at the Brading practice are allowed to focus on continuing their day-to-day role of keeping their practice running as efficiently as ever.

“The CCG has been informed that the two GPs who run the practice are struggling to maintain their high standards of care with growing demands and limited capacity.

"This is a disappointing decision but one which we understand, and one which reflects some of the pressures nationally on primary care services.”

After the CCG has made its decision on the way forward, it is planning to set up public meetings in Brading for patients to learn of the next steps.

A drop-in session is also planned in the next fortnight so patients can ask questions and raise issues which will be used to inform the options appraisal.

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