A FAILING GP practice in Caversham is set to close leaving thousands of patients scrambling to find a new doctor elsewhere.

Priory Avenue Surgery, which has been operated by One Medical Group since September 2016, was deemed to require improvement in most areas of its Care Quality Commission inspection in January.

Following a series of issues surrounding service delivery and staffing levels, including the recruitment and retention of GPs, the provider has mutually agreed with Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to terminate its contract for the surgery.

With a patient register of just over 6,000 patients, the CCG has taken the decision to close the practice at the end of June, and invite patients to register with other surgeries in the area with available spaces.

All patients have received letters from the CCG advising them which surgeries currently have availability, and how to register with them. Two patient information evenings are also due to be held near the surgery in the coming weeks.

During an inspection on January 10, the surgery was found to be falling short of standards relating to patient safety, hygiene and responsiveness.

Only 24 per cent of patients said they could usually get to see or speak to their preferred GP, compared with the CCG average of 64 er cent, and the national average of 56 per cent.

Dr Cathy Winfield, Chief Officer at Berkshire West CCG said: “It is always a difficult decision to recommend the closure of a surgery but we feel in the circumstances that Priory Avenue patients will be best served by being able to access care from another surgery within their locality.

"We will be working closely with local practices, GPs and patients to make sure that everyone continues to have access to high quality general practice services.”

A spokesperson for One Medical Group said: “We have been in discussions with North West Reading CCG since last summer over our Priory Avenue contract.

"The practice will continue to operate as normal and provide a full service to patients from Priory Avenue Surgery until our contract end date of 30th June. We would like to thank our dedicated team for their service to patients."