THE PLANNED takeover of a Basingstoke GP surgery responsible for the care of almost 13,500 patients has collapsed.

Shakespeare Road Medical Practice was in the process of being taken over by another of the town's surgeries, Bramblys Grange, who are currently running the surgery and its sister site at Fort Hill on a temporary basis.

But the partners have decided that they will not continue running the practice after the end of next month.

They cite various reasons but say that they have been unable to recruit enough clinical staff.

The partners have said that "robust arrangements" are in place to ensure normal services continue and that a process to bring in a new, long-term provider is "well underway".

They are bringing in extra clinical and administrative staff so there will be no impact on the care patients receive, the partners said in a statement on the website.

It comes just months after the surgery was forced to close its doors, weeks after Bramblys Grange took over the surgery temporarily.

Patients were left in the dark after doctors and nurses stopped seeing patients in April. It has been blamed on a build up of short-term pressures connected to the takeover.

Dr Matt Nisbet, associate clinical director at the Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, told The Gazette days after the closure that pressures that NHS staff had faced during the pandemic had mounted up, including catching up on postponed work and running the vaccination programme.

Continuing in their statement, the partners at Shakespeare Road said: "The majority of the extra workforce will be drawn either from people already working within the practice now, or from other local practices. The intention is that staffing levels should be at least as high as they are currently.

"The overriding priority for the NHS is always to ensure that nobody is left without the care and support they need – and that is the case for everyone currently registered at Shakespeare Road."

What has been going on?

Bramblys Grange, who also run a surgery based in Dickson House as well as Rooksdown surgery, took over the running of Shakespeare Road Medical Practice in April, after the partners at what was then called Bermuda and Marlowe practice handed back the contract.

They were due to take over permanently from October, but have decided they cannot do so.

In the statement on the surgery's website, they cite various reasons, including a failure to recruit enough clinical staff.

The partners will now hold the contract until the end of November "whilst alternatives are agreed".

They add: "Much of the additional staffing will come from people who already work at Shakespeare Road and so they already know the practice, and the patients.

"The number of clinical staff available will be at least as many are required to meet national guidelines, and will all be fully qualified and experienced.

"Business goes on as normal and patients do not need to do anything.

"The next objective is to confirm a provider who will come in and run the practice in the longer term, from December – that process is well underway and is expected to be completed shortly. Further updates will be provided soon."

The Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group has been contacted for comment.