A CAMPAIGN by patients to maintain branch GP services in a Monmouthshire village has been successful.

Pontypool-based Churchwood Surgery had sought to close its branch surgery in Goytre - but after a public engagement process and the submission of a petition protesting the plan, which contained several hundreds of names, closure has been averted.

Patients in the village and its surrounds who are registered with Churchwood Surgery are being sent letters advising them that Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is accepting its branch closure panel's recommendation that services in Goytre should continue.

Health board chief executive Judith Paget told board members: "We are working with the surgery to decide the best way to do that."

Following the application earlier this year, patients and villagers mounted a campaign to keep the branch surgery open.

They feared that closing Goytre Surgery would rob many residents, particularly young children and the elderly, of a vital and accessible amenity.

It was pointed out that Goytre and its surrounds has a population of almost 3,000, a number set to grow due to new housing developments, while for patients from areas such as Mamhilad and Little Mill - with no healthcare facilities of their own - Goytre Surgery is much closer than the main surgery in Pontypool.

These and other concerns regarding issues such as public transport, were raised through a questionnaire circulated as part of the public engagement process.

A report from independent health watchdog Aneurin Bevan Community Health Council stated that the public engagement process had revealed "a large amount of upset from the community in Goytre, who felt that they would struggle to attend the main surgery".

Monmouth AM Nick Ramsay welcomed the decision keep open the Goytre branch surgery.

"I am delighted that the health board has decided to retain the surgery at Goytre as residents were extremely unhappy about a proposed closure," he said.

“The positive outcome to the questionnaire circulated to patients illustrates the strength of feeling, especially amongst elderly patients who would have found it difficult to travel further afield for GP appointments."