A senior doctor behind Bridgewater’s bid to take over the contract to run Claypit Street Surgery says it is a move towards ‘one organisation, one premises’ for healthcare in Whitchurch.

Dr Tim Lyttle, from the Bridgewater Street Surgery, confirmed they and Dodington want to replace Shropdoc who have requested to give the contract back for the newly-formed surgery.

The contract will be discussed at Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) board meeting today, but Dr Lyttle expects the surgery to take control in November until March 2018, at least.

“For us, this represents the first move towards the ‘one organisation’,” said Dr Lyttle, who also revealed he is already supporting Shropdoc at Claypit Street.

“In the short term we’re looking to support Shropdoc, in mid-term we’re looking at taking the contract and longer term, this is a move towards all being in one organisation.

“Shropdoc will continue until the end of October and both ourselves and Dodington are supporting them.

“In terms of the contract, we’re looking towards to us taking it in November as long as it’s all finalised.

“We have to emphasise that there’s no question nobody would be running it from November and it’s likely to be us. I don’t see there being a problem as the CCG are being very helpful.”

Dr Lyttle confirmed the plan for one premises for all Whitchurch patients by 2019, as revealed by The Herald, is on track.

But he asked for patience from patients as the process to recruit more GPs gets underway.

He added: “We are asking the people of Whitchurch to support local GPs.

“Peggy Mullock, in her role as chairman of the Patients Group, is asking people to get behind the practices, wherever they are registered.

“We’re asking for the support of the people. We want to recruit two or three more GPs to work with us so we can take on this contract.

“We already have some interest, which is great, but we’re going through that process ahead of November.

“Be patient with us – people are asking ‘who’s my GP?’ We don’t have enough GPs in Whitchurch and that’s why we’re recruiting.”

Dr Russell Muirhead, from Shropdoc, said the organisation had struggled with GP recruitment and has reluctantly made the decision to hand the contract back.

He said: “Shropdoc is sorry that patients are being affected once more and has committed to support local Practices in any way it can to ensure a smooth and safe handover.”

Dr Julian Povey, Clinical Chair for the CCG, added: “I would like to thank the local practices for their rallying approach which means that patients can continue to receive the care they need.

“We have a plan in place and patients will still be able to use the Claypit Surgery. This will mean it is business as usual so patients can still get their appointments and prescriptions.”