Health bosses are helping patients find a new GP after confirmation a city surgery is to close.
Doctors at Conishead Medical Group in Ryhope have chosen to bring their contract to an end in December.
The doctors at Conishead made a difficult decision to hand back their contract, so we have moved as quickly as possible to consider the best way to provide GP services for Conishead’s patients in the future.David Gallagher
They had previously been in discussions about a possible merger with another nearby practice, but decided to end their contract after concluding that a merger would not be viable.
David Gallagher, Chief Officer at NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The doctors at Conishead made a difficult decision to hand back their contract, so we have moved as quickly as possible to consider the best way to provide GP services for Conishead’s patients in the future.
“Sadly, we have had to recognise that we would be unlikely to secure another provider for the practice with such a small patient list. Also, the costs associated with the existing premises would make this practice even more difficult for a new provider to take on.
“In the circumstances we feel it is better to make a clear decision so that patients have plenty of time to find another practice. We know this will be unsettling news, but we will provide support for anyone who needs a helping hand in choosing a new GP.
“We have written to all registered patients with an update and some practical information about other practices which are accepting new patients.
“There are seven practices within two miles of Conishead, but around half of the patients do not live in Ryhope, so they may prefer to choose a practice closer to home.
“In the meantime, we would like to reassure patients that they can continue to use the practice until 30 November 2017, and to thank Dr Hipwell, Dr Gupta and their team for their dedicated service over many years.”
The practice currently provides healthcare for 3,000 patients from its base in Black Road.
Dr Mike Hipwell of Conishead Medical Group said: “We have been proud to serve the community in Ryhope for more than thirteen years, so this was an immensely difficult decision. We have explored different options but we face increasing pressures on the service which are especially difficult for a practice of our size.
“The CCG are now working to ensure there is a service after the end of the year.”