An application to permanently close a rural north Norfolk surgery is putting elderly residents in "real danger of being cut-off", according to a parish council chairman. 

An initial application to close Blakeney Surgery, in Queen's Close, has been submitted to NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) by Holt Medical Practice, which runs the surgery.

Rosemary Thew, Blakeney Parish Council chairman, has said the planned closure has effectively “already taken place” as patients have not had access to face-to-face appointments since before the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 when services were withdrawn.

North Norfolk News: Rosemary Threw, Blakeney Parish Council chairmanRosemary Threw, Blakeney Parish Council chairman (Image: Supplied)

Patients can still pick up prescriptions from the surgery, but the prospect of the closure is said to have caused "distress" to patients - many of whom are pensioners. 

However, NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board ICB said the process of officially closing the surgery was still in its "very early stages". 

READ MORE: Blakeney Surgery could close after application submitted

North Norfolk News: Blakeney Surgery, in Queen's Close

The closure means patients have to travel either 6.5 miles to the practice's Holt branch or 9.5 miles to its Melton Constable Surgery - which Mrs Thew said was an "immense inconvenience" for the elderly.

"We have one of the highest populations of elderly residents in the country," she said.

"A lot of residents have established medical conditions and need appointments with doctors and nurses. If they can't access treatment, what will the consequences be?

"Rural locations shouldn't suffer just because they are rural."

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NHS data showed that in April this year the practice had 14,338 patients registered across its Holt, Blakeney and Melton Constable branches.

The ICB said its primary care commissioning committee would first need to approve the application - and there would need to be a period of consultation with patients and stakeholders - before the practice could make a formal request to close the branch.