THE independent regulator of health and social care decided to suspend the team running Minehead Medical Centre for three months over fears patients could be "exposed to the risk of harm".

The Care Quality Commission took action to suspend Minehead Medical Ltd following an inspection, the results of which will be published in due course.

It is hoped a new provider will start to deliver services from the centre and the MIU from tomorrow.

A CQC spokesperson told the County Gazette: “Following an inspection of Minehead Medical Centre in Somerset, CQC has taken urgent action today (Tuesday, January 23), to suspend the provider who runs the centre, Minehead Medical Ltd, from being able to carry out regulated activities at the medical centre for three months.

"We took this action because we believe if we didn’t, people using the service may be exposed to the risk of harm.

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“CQC was working with partner organisations to ensure people using this service were still able to access the care that they need now, and in future from an alternative provider with no break in service.

"However, the provider made an independent decision to stop accepting appointments and referrals from Tuesday lunchtime onwards, until the new provider was due to take over from Wednesday morning.

“The provider has the right to appeal and further information will be published by CQC when we are able to do so.

"The findings from the inspection will be published in a report on CQC’s website once all of our usual quality processes have taken place.”

Minehead MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has been in touch with the CQC and other health organisations in a bid to "get a course of action together" to ensure the people of Alcombe and Minehead have access to a GP.

"Everything that needs to be done is getting done," added Mr Liddell-Grainger, who has advised anyone with any concerns to get in touch with him or the relevant health authorities.