LYNEHAM patients registered at a Royal Wootton Bassett surgery are outraged after being asked to move elsewhere to help staff struggling with patient numbers.
The patients registered at New Court Surgery, Borough Fields, have been asked to find another surgery in a letter written by partners at the surgery and sent on January 2.
They have been given 30 days to make alternative arrangements and during this time they will still be able to see a doctor at the surgery, but home visits will not be provided.
There is no doctor’s surgery in Lyneham itself and most people in the area are outside a catchment area for a GP, meaning that they rely on services in Bassett or Calne.
Partners at the surgery said the change is due to a massive expansion of houses in Bassett leaving them struggling to cope with the number of people signing up.
Although they applied to NHS England to close the surgery’s practice list, the government body refused the request and recommended removing people instead.
But now NHS England has advised them to stop sending out letters ahead of another meeting to discuss the situation.
Tanya Franks, 49, of Church End Close, has been registered with the surgery since moving to Lyneham in 2001 and said the letter had left her feeling unsupported and upset.
She has managed to transfer to the Tinkers Lane Surgery, also in Bassett, but is worried that this surgery will also suffer from rising patient numbers.
She said: “I’m not very happy, I suffer from anxiety and stress anyway and going somewhere different and having to sort this out has not been very good.
“It actually says at the bottom of the page that it’s final, you can’t appeal and they won’t be able to make exceptions. To be honest I have taken it a bit personally.”
Alison Bucknell, Wiltshire councillor for Lyneham, said doctors should be taking care of the patients on their books first rather than trying to make room for new patients.
She said: “I don’t think it’s a humane way to treat someone.
“It’s one thing to close your books, but it’s another thing to effectively ask patients to leave. There is another surgery in Wootton Bassett and that actually has space still.
“Just because there are more houses in Wootton Bassett you don’t turf your existing patients out to put other people in. It’s not how I would expect a doctor’s surgery to behave.”
The letter from the five partners at the surgery said: “We are now starting the process of asking those patients who live furthest away from us to register with an alternative practice who provide a service in the area where they currently live.
“It is with great regret that we have to ask you to register elsewhere, and apologise for any upset or inconvenience this may cause you.”
A spokesman from the NHS England’s Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon & Wiltshire Area Team said the New Court Surgery had recently requested to close its list and was asked to look at other options first.
It had worked hard to make best use of its building and had agreed some adjustments. Some patients had been identified as living outside its practice boundary and letters had been sent. However, the practice had now been asked to stop ending the letters until a meeting could take place between the area team and the practice, the spokesman said.