CUDDINGTON and Sandiway residents say they are ‘up in arms’ over plans to close their local surgery.

Patients were made aware of proposals to close Sandiway Surgery in a letter sent shortly before Christmas by Danebridge Medical Practice.

This is despite it being the only surgery within five miles of the villages of Sandiway, Cuddington and Delamere.

In the letter, the practice cited a lack of funds and a national shortage of GPs as the reasons behind the closure consideration.

Patients have been given until the end of January to share their views through a survey, and if the closure comes to fruition, they would be transferred to Kingsmead Surgery more than four miles away.

On Monday evening, Cuddington Parish Council held an extraordinary meeting in Sandiway Primary School which saw 128 residents attend.

At this meeting, the parish council endorsed the formation of a resident action group made up of both Sandiway Surgery patients and parish councillors.

Also in attendance at the meeting were Cheshire West and Chester councillors Gillian Edwards and Charles Fifield, and a representative of Eddisbury MP Edward Timpson, who all threw their support behind the action group.

A spokesperson for the resident action group said: “There has been a surgery in Sandiway for over 75 years, and since then, the village has doubled in size from around 1,300 homes to more than 2,600.

“In the recent Local and Neighbourhood plans, Cuddington was designated a ‘key service centre’ because of its ability to provide services for the surrounding rural area with regards to schools, shops, a library, pharmacy and GP and dental facilities, enabling significant housing development in the area.

“But over the past few years, Danebridge Medical Practice has been progressively reducing services in the village and reducing opening hours and appointments at the surgery.”

Residents at the meeting also pointed out that the proportion of older residents in Sandiway and Cuddington is increasing, as is the number of young families as a result of significant housing developments.

“This proposal will make access to primary care less accessible, which is contrary to the NHS constitution and the aims of the local CCG,” the spokesperson added.

“There is no bus service to Kingsmead at all, and a very limited service from the village to Danebridge.

“The surgeries at Kingsmead and Danebridge are already suffering from serious parking problems, and increasing patients will only make things worse for all 24,500 patients in the practice.”

The action group has so far received more than 600 signatures in support of its campaign to ensure Sandiway Surgery remains open, and this figure is expected to grow.