A VILLAGE doctor's surgery has closed, despite fears elderly residents will struggle to access the service.

The decision to relocate Riversdale Surgery in Wylam to Prudhoe was agreed by the Northumberland Clinical Commissioning group.

It means the practice's 3,000 patients will have to travel to Oaklands Health Centre in Prudhoe.

Riversdale was due to close at the beginning of April, but the closure was delayed to consult with residents and then due to the coronavirus crisis.

However, the surgery closed last Friday, much to the disappointment of the Wylam Surgery User's Group, which is concerned over a lack of public transport to the new site.

Member Steve Grinter said: "We're very disappointed that the closure has gone through.

"We appreciate the work that the CCG has done to have further consultation, but we're concerned that the closure has gone ahead without alternative measures in place to cope with the problem of public transport.

"A very large proportion of the patients are elderly and don't drive, and there's only four buses a day making it practically impossible to get there."

Dr Roderick Donaldson, GP and partner at Riversdale Surgery defended the decision.

He said: "We do recognise that this is disappointing news for some of our patients. However, we believe this decision is the best option for both the practice and our patients.

“As part of our response to Covid-19, we are using telephone and video appointments.

"These new ways of consulting with our patients have worked well and will continue going forward, offering patients flexibility and a reduced requirement to travel.”