Hundreds sign petition against surgery closure plan

James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition opposing the planned closure of a doctors' surgery.

A worried resident has placed forms protesting about the closure of the Locks Road Surgery in Locks Heath in local shops.

And so far more than 860 people have already signed the sheets on behalf of themselves and family members.

The surgery, which is a joint practice with Whiteley, sent letters and a questionnaire to more than 3,000 people informing them that they intended to close the Locks Road Surgery at the end of March.

Patients will then be forced to make a seven mile round-trip to Whiteley.

Martin Reeve has been registered with the practice since he was a boy.

The 63-year-old said: 'Nobody wants it to move - people are fed up and frustrated.

'We know it's going to be difficult to prevent it moving, but we've got to try.

'This site was originally known as Doctor's Corner, a surgery was initially started on the corner of Heath Road and Locks Road by Dr John Kingdom Senior.

'It was then taken over by his son Dr John Kingdom who is still affectionately remembered by many living in this area, so, it would appear that a surgery has been on this site for more than 100 years.'

Mr Reeve of Raley Road, Locks Heath, said patients don't want to go all the way to Whiteley.

'They've got to pass two main roads, the A27 and the M27 and two major roundabouts to get there, and then if you do drive, there's no parking,' he said.

'Yes, the Whiteley surgery is more modern, but when you're ill you just want to be able to get to the doctor's.'

Practice partner Dr Richard Roope has previously defended the proposals on the grounds that the Locks Road surgery is no longer fit for purpose.

He denied the move would financially benefit any of the staff and they were looking at ways to solve the transportation problems, including running a shuttle bus.

Mr Reeve was planning to hand the petition to the surgery later today, but he added: 'We will keep the petition running as long as it needs to be.'

The petition can still be signed at Everett's Pharmacy and the Co-op in Locks Heath Shopping Centre.

Patients oppose long round trip to Whiteley surgery if local practice is closed down