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1st Patient letter

Abbotsbury Road and Chickerell Surgeries


Do you have any initial questions or concerns about the changes?

If so, please drop in to one of the informal events below:

The Waverley

121 Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth, DT4 0JX

Wednesday 24 October

Doors open from 2.30pm, and close at 6.30pm


Willowbed Hall

Putton Lane, Chickerell, DT3 4AJ

Thursday 1 November

Doors open from 12.30pm and close at 4.30pm

If you have any immediate questions or concerns, and cannot attend one of the above events, please either email or telephone 0333 241 2495 (this information is in the letter to patients)

Frequently asked questions

What are the plans, and where ill patients go to see a GP in future?

Outline plans are being developed by local GP practices to ensure each patient is registered with a local GP surgery by 31 March 2019. 

How long will this take?

The closure notification has been over a relatively short timescale so far, and we are sure that you can appreciate that the above arrangements and plans need a little time to implement.  We are confident that we will be able to share these arrangements with patients before long. 

Do I need to find Another GP surgery?

No, you will be seamlessly transferred to another GP practice, and you won’t have to go through the registration process.  We are specifically asking that patients don’t move practices at the moment, as this may de-stabilise other practices, who are busy preparing themselves for the work ahead. This will help everyone by:

  • Ensuring continuity of care for patients
  • Supporting the GPs and staff at Abbotsbury Road to carry out a safe transfer for patients
  • Allowing the receiving practices sufficient time to put in place the necessary workforce (GPs, nurses, other healthcare professionals), and premises requirements which will enable them to safely offer care to patients in the future.
  • Allowing the whole healthcare community of Weymouth, including community services, to combine their resources which will make sure that services are fit for the future for all.

Can I choose where to register in the future?

After you have been transferred to a new GP surgery, you may choose to change to another GP surgery in the future.

How are medical records transferred?

Your electronic medical records will be transferred quickly and efficiently and any paper medical records will be transported securely to your new practice.

How can I be kept informed?

A number of engagement events will be held over the coming months, with regular updates on the practice notice boards and website.   The Clinical Commissioning Group will write to you a key progress points, to ensure you are fully informed.

Will both Abbotsbury and Chickerell surgeries close?

The main Abbotsbury Road Surgery premises is unlikely to remain as an option for the future.  There are ongoing plans to retain a surgery in Chickerell, as this is a large area of development.  We will be able to offer a clearer picture as plans unfold.  You will be kept fully up to date with the outcome of these.

I need regular reviews for my medical condition, and I am concerned about continuity of care

The GP practices in Weymouth and Portland are developing plans which will ensure that patients have safe continuity of care.  These plans will have patient needs as a priority, so wherever services are provided patients can expect the same high quality level of care.

Will I still be able to collect my prescriptions from the Pharmacy next door?

We are not aware of any changes to pharmacy services, but will be working with NHS England, who commission these, to understand and address any risks to pharmacies as a result of this closure.

I don’t have transport, and am concerned that I may not be able to get to a different surgery

Transport is always high on the list of considerations when planning services.  We will be in a better position to advise you once we are clearer on where future services will be provided.

I’m housebound, will I still get home visits from a new surgery?

Yes, all surgeries offer a home visit service for patients who are unable to get to the surgery.  

Can I still be seen at Abbotsbury Road Surgery if I register with another surgery?

No, once you have registered with another surgery, you are unable to access services at Abbotsbury Road.

Why have the GPs at Abbotsbury Road terminated their contract?

Recruitment of GPs is a national problem, for many reasons.  The GP partners at Abbotsbury Road surgery find themselves in a position where they have been unable to recruit a GP partner to replace one of the current partners who wishes to retire.  This means that it is not safe for patients, or sustainable for staff, to continue.  

Why did this news go to the press before patients were informed?

The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) were formally notified on 3 October, and staff were notified on 4 October.  Rumours were already spreading and by 5 October there were a number of in accurate and misleading comments on social media.  The CCG took the decision to publish accurate information to stem the rumours and provide a degree of information prior to patients being formally notified in writing.  In normal circumstances the CCG would closely align patient letters with any press releases.


Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has recently received formal notice from the GP partners at Abbotsbury Road Surgery in Weymouth of their decision to terminate their contract.  This means that the practice will be closing on 31 March 2019.

What happens next?

Abbotsbury Road Surgery will continue to provide primary care services until the end of March 2019, at both the Abbotsbury Road and Chickerell sites.   The GP practices in Weymouth and Portland are developing plans to ensure the continuity of primary care services. This means that patients do not need to register elsewhere immediately, and should remain registered with the practice, giving the locality the opportunity to formalise their plans which will ensure that patients have safe continuity of care.  Weymouth and Portland GPs are very keen to engage with patients and staff at the practice as they develop their plans over coming weeks.

Each patient will receive a letter with more details in due course, and a comprehensive programme of patient engagement will follow.

The GP Partners at Abbotsbury Road Surgery said:  ‘we are very sad to have had to make the decision to close the practice. With an ageing GP workforce and national shortage of GPs, we have been unable to recruit replacements for retiring GP Partners. We have therefore concluded that is it unsafe to continue to try to provide General Medical Services for our population of 9000 patients with a skeleton clinical staff without risking the health and safety of our patients and our staff.’

Dr Karen Kirkham, Locality Chair and Weymouth GP, said: "The partners at Abbotsbury Road Surgery have made the difficult decision to hand back their contract at the end of March 2019. This does not change the direction or plans that the locality has been developing, which are supported by all practices, to find solutions for a more resilient primary care within Weymouth and Portland, building on the many ideas that are already emerging.

Staff at Abbotsbury Road Surgery and the Chickerell branch site will be supported by the CCG and local practices.  All of our primary care staff, clinical and non-clinical, are a hugely valuable resource, and the team at the practice will have a crucial role to play in the continuation of local services.

We have a great track record for working together across the Weymouth and Portland locality, and we will continue to provide the high quality general practice that has always been at the heart of all that we do."

If patients have any concerns or questions, they are encouraged to contact the CCG at

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