Rippingale surgery will close in spring

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A rural GP surgery will close for good in March after a three-year campaign to save it by determined villagers failed.

New Springwells Practice in Station Road, Rippingale will close from March 31.

A spokesman from NHS Lincolnshire said: “Following previous patient engagement and in discussion with NHS Lincolnshire the decision has been made to no longer offer GP services from the Rippingale Surgery.

“The decision was based on a number of issues including the suitability of the facilities for patients, privacy during consultations and disabled access.”

Rippingale Parish Council and a group called Rippingale Surgery Action Group, set up by concerned villagers, have been fighting the closure of the facility since 2009.

Chairman of the Rippingale Parish Council Mike Hallas said: “We have not given up. We will continue to take the whole issue to higher levels and to investigate other options.

“It’s taken three-and-a-half years to reach this point, and cost goodness only knows how much to sort out something which only one party apparently sees as a problem.”

Patients at Rippingale surgery, which currently offers GP services, are registered with New Springwells Practice and will be transferred along with staff to the practice of the same name in Billingborough.

The premises in Billingborough have been extended and improved during the past three years. NHS Lincolnshire said the surgery will accommodate the increased demands the closure of Rippingale branch will bring.

An additional 25 car-parking spaces have been secured at the village hall in Billingborough for staff and patients.

There are 19 parking spaces in the church car park close to the surgery. Both car parks have specific car parking for disabled patients to park.

Transport provision for patients who have difficulties travelling to Billingborough will be discussed at a forthcoming meeting with NHS Lincolnshire and Rippingale Parish Council.

Senior contracts manager for NHS Lincolnshire Adrian Audis said: “The board of NHS Lincolnshire considered a number of options to support patients that will be affected by this change and continues to work closely with the practice and the parish council to identify the best solution.

“We continue to work with both the parish council and practice to work through a transport solution.”

There will still be capacity for home visits to patients by doctors and practice nurses.