A doctors’ surgery in Minehead is expected to close down – just two years after it merged with a neighbouring practice.

The Irnham Lodge Surgery on Townsend Road officially merged in April 2019 with the Harley House Surgery, located just around the corner on Irnham Road.

The Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for allocating health resources across the county, said the Irnham Lodge practice could close as early as May 2021.

The details of the proposals will be brought back to the CCG for final confirmation.

News of the closure was published in the agenda papers for the CCG’s commissioning committee, which met virtually on June 10.

Sarah Matthews-Attree, the CCG’s primary care contracts officer, confirmed the practice’s managers had given notice about the closure two months prior to the meeting taking place.

She said in her written report: “An application to close the branch surgery at Irnham Lodge was received on April 3, 2020.

“The primary care contracting team has responded with some preliminary questions, and provided the primary care communications and engagement toolkit to assist with the required patient and public engagement.

“The closure is planned for May 24, 2021 and a timeline of the appropriate governance route is being developed. This will be brought to the committee for consideration at a later date.”

Both surgeries are part of the West Somerset practices group – which also includes Dunster and Porlock Surgeries, the Exmoor Medical Centre in Dulverton, and West Somerset Healthcare in Williton.

Harley House and Irnham Lodge currently have six GPs and 13,226 registered patients between them, according to the NHS website.

A further update on the planned closure will come back to the CCG’s commissioning committee in September.

Asked for further clarification on the matter, a spokesman for Somerset CCG said: “Irnham Lodge and Harley House surgeries merged in April 2019, to provide greater resilience for healthcare services in Minehead. Since the merger, services have been provided for registered patients across two locations.

"An initial early application has been received from Minehead Medical Centre to propose the move of healthcare services to a single site location at Harley House Surgery; this would mean that all registered patients would access existing healthcare services from one location, rather than two.

"Under the proposal, services will continue to run from the adjacent locations of Irnham Lodge and Harley House as part of the Minehead Medical Centre as usual until May 2021 and will not affect the provision of GP services for the existing registered patients in Minehead and the local community."

The CCG say patients will be fully involved in any proposals through a detailed patient engagement programme over the next few months. 

Patients should continue to contact the practice as usual for any healthcare concerns; by calling 01643 703441, or by visiting the website: www.mineheadmedicalcentre.co.uk.