The Gorton Street Practice and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) mutually agreed in June, to end the contract at the end of September 2017 and therefore the practice will close after Friday 29 September 2017.

You will have received a letter in July to notify you of this and advise of the steps you need to take to register at a another GP practice.

If you have not already registered you/your family with another GP, it is important that you now do so as soon as possible.

There are a number of practices which you will be able to choose from.

What should you do?

Please do not worry. Our priority is to make sure that you have continued access to high quality GP services. All the practices in Blackpool are taking new patients and you will be able to choose one that is most convenient for you.

Simply visit the practice of your choice and let them know that you wish to register there. They will then ask you to fill out some simple forms about you and your medical history.

The following practices are the closest to Gorton Street Practice:

  • Elizabeth Street Surgery – located on Elizabeth Street – 0.06 miles away.
  • Adelaide Street Surgery – located on Adelaide Street – 0.37 miles away.
  • South King Street – located on South King Street – 0.38 miles away.
  • St Paul’s Medical Centre – located at the back of the Hilton Hotel on the promenade – 0.66 miles away.
  • Marton Medical Centre – located within the Whitegate Health Centre, on Whitegate Drive – 0.68 miles away.
  • Glenroyd Medical Centre – located on Whitegate Drive – 0.68 miles away.
  • Layton Medical Centre – located on Kingscote Drive off St Walburgas Road – 0.75 miles away.

Details of the above and all the practices in Blackpool are available on this website here or; on the NHS choices website.

Why is the practice closing?

Gorton Street Practice has been run for several years by the same GP. This GP, Dr Clarke, will be leaving the practice and despite the best efforts, it has not been possible to recruit a permanent replacement for him. The alternative would mean relying on locum doctors to provide GP services out of Gorton Street, however this can be expensive and does not provide the continuity of care which we know patients like.

Great efforts have been made to find a replacement although these have not been successful for a number of reasons. Recruitment of new GPs has been increasingly difficult for a number of years.

Is GP recruitment a problem in Blackpool and, if so, what is being done about it?

Recruitment of GPs is not just a challenge for Blackpool. Lots of areas across the country struggle to find and recruit new GPs. There is a falling number of GPs with a number coming towards the end of their careers after many years in the NHS.

However, efforts are being made to overcome this. These include working with local partner organisations to promote Blackpool and wider Fylde coast as an attractive destination to work and live for newly qualified doctors. We’ve also benefitted from an NHS England initiative which provides a small financial incentive to trainee GPs who choose Blackpool as place to learn and gather experience, with the hope that this will mean more go on to have long careers here.

Will GPs in other practices be able to cope with the additional patients they will take on?

Yes, all practices across Blackpool are taking on new patients and all have enough capacity and resource to manage a slight increase in patient numbers.