Managers of a north Norfolk GP surgery faced a grilling from villagers angry about plans to close it.

Around 250 people were at a meeting at Blakeney Village Hall on Tuesday evening (August 2).

The gathering was organised by Holt Medical Practice, which has applied to NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) for permission to close Blakeney Surgery despite staunch community opposition.

Tim Ambler, 86 and from Blakeney, was among those who went along to speak out against the planned closure. 

Mr Ambler said: “The mood was very hostile. They weren’t actually booed, but I’m surprised they weren’t.

“They have been gradually wearing the surgery down to almost nothing. The only service now is that you can collect your prescriptions and that’s it. You can’t see a doctor, you can’t see a nurse."

North Norfolk News: Blakeney Surgery Blakeney Surgery (Image: Google Maps)

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Holt Medical Practice said the closure was necessary because the building was too small and unsuitable by modern standards.

A spokesman said that even if they could find the money to build a new surgery, it would be faced with recruitment challenges, and staff and resources would need to be diverted from surgeries in Holt and Melton Constable.

Rosemary Thew, chairman of Blakeney Parish Council, said the planned closure was of “grim concern” to vulnerable and elderly residents.

North Norfolk News: Rosemary Thew, chairman of Blakeney Parish CouncilRosemary Thew, chairman of Blakeney Parish Council (Image: Supplied)

“Blakeney Surgery provides an essential service,” she said.

“It serves a rural population. We’ve been making this point to the surgery – that people in this rural area are being disadvantaged. Unfortunately, the surgery is pressing on.”

North Norfolk News: Dr Victoria Holliday, North Norfolk District Council Coastal ward councillorDr Victoria Holliday, North Norfolk District Council Coastal ward councillor (Image: Dr Victoria Holliday)

Dr Victoria Holliday, who represents the Coastal ward at North Norfolk District Council, said of the planned closure: “It will mean a 14-mile round trip to High Kelling or a 20-mile round trip to Melton Constable - however, almost a fifth of Blakeney residents don’t have a car,” she said.

“Over 40pc of Blakeney residents are over 65 and over a quarter of these live alone."

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