NORTHUMBERLAND’S Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has met with residents in Wylam to discuss the future of the village’s Riversdale doctor’s surgery.

The surgery is set to close at the end of April, l, following the retirement of the GP who owns the building and is planning to sell it.

As a result, partners at the practice revealed plans to transfer services three miles away, to Oaklands Medical Centre in Prudhoe.

However, the move was put on hold after the CCG’s consultation was criticised by residents and the parish council.

At the CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee’s meeting last month, officials agreed to consult residents further before rubber-stamping the move.

As a result, a series of public meetings were held in the village to see what can be done to mitigate the impact of the move.

Speaking at the meeting, Rachel Mitcheson, Northumberland CCG’s head of commissioning, said: “We just wanted to come and have a chat and talk about how much you knew about the proposed move.

“A few people have mentioned getting across the water. The surgery have looked around when the decision was taken at other sites and various options around the village, but they just weren’t suitable. The remaining doctors feel that it will be better to be on one site.”

One resident, who asked not to be named, said the biggest issue would be getting to the new site in Prudhoe.

She said: “We’re very lucky they’ve had the surgery in Wylam, but the transport is the biggest problem.

“I no longer drive and the bus finishes at dinner time.”

Other residents pointed out that the bus to Prudhoe did not go near Oaklands Medical Centre, and residents with difficulty walking could find it almost impossible to attend appointments.

It was suggested that the surgery could move to the village’s Falcon Centre, but the idea was shot down by parish councillor Steven Duckworth.

Coun. Duckworth said: “Other than pulling it down and starting again, I don’t think it would be fit for clinical practice.”

Mrs Mitcheson said the CCG would take the findings from the meetings back to committee.

She said: “It’s a difficult place to be, but there’s still a process to go through. It needs to go back to committee. We just felt it was important that we really understood the impact and how we can mitigate.”