THE FUTURE of a Witney GP surgery is in doubt after partners told patients they intend to hand back the contract for providing services.

Dr Sandra Hallett and Dr Amisha Patel made the announcement at a meeting at Cogges GP Surgery yesterday evening.

The practice, which serves approximately 7,700 people in West Oxfordshire, has been unable to recruit new partners to replace two partners who departed in recent years.

This has put severe pressure on Dr Hallett and Dr Patel, who face increasing workloads and are struggling to maintain high quality services.

Cogges Surgery intends to give six months' notice to NHS Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and is exploring several options to ensure it continues providing services.

Options include finding a new provider or merging with another Witney practice.

Dr Hallett said: “Any decision to hand back our contract will not been taken lightly and we would like to thank our patients for the loyalty they have shown us and the good relationships we have built with them over the years.

"We understand that some patients may be worried about any changes but we will continue to provide services over the next six months while we work with Oxfordshire CCG to look at all the options for the future.

"We will make sure that our patients are kept informed along the way and have the opportunity to have their say.”

This follows a growing number of practices across the county deciding to merge or close due to a lack of GPs willing to become partners.