AN UNDER THREAT doctors surgery could be saved after a new GP was found to run it.

More than 1,500 Patients feared they would be left in the lurch after being told Knights Surgery, off Markhams Chase, Laindon, would close on Thursday, February 28 after its sole GP, Dr Andrew Holman, handed in his resignation to the primary care trust.

However, at a crisis meeting Dr Holman announced he would stay in post for another three months and that newly-qualified Dr Subrata Basu wanted to take over the practice with his friend Dr Gbenga Odutola.

Dr Holman said: “I don’t want to see the surgery finish or fail if that is it all possible.

“We have got the highest prevailance of serious diseases in the whole of south Essex and my concern is whether the primary care trust has the local resources to provide care for my patients.

“Hopefully as a result of the discussion there is an option of taking back the term of notice and then going into partnership for a month with the aim of the partner taking over the contract.”

The meeting was told the surgery will survive if Dr Holman officially informs the primary care trust of plans to postpone his retirement and extend his contract by up to three months.

This would give him the opportunity to take on Dr Basu as a partner, who after working alongside him for at least one month, could take over the full contract for Knights Surgery.

Dr Basu, who trained at Knights Surgery, said: “It’s a brilliant practice and we want to try and keep everything the same as much as possible.

"Because there will be two doctors here we could even expand. There are a lot of great opportunities.”

Patients have campaigned to stop the closure and were worried about having to find alternative GPs in the area.

Ian Stidston, Director of Primary Care at NHS South Essex, said: “We recognise the importance of practices like Knights Surgery which have a history of delivering high quality services and are a big part of their community. We would love to see a practice like this continue to grow and thrive.

“If Dr Holman is willing to extend his contract that gives us time to come up with a solution.”