A DOCTOR’S surgery in Newport will close at the end of the month after around 70 years of serving the community, with thousands of patients being transferred to other GP practices in the city.

Eveswell Surgery in Chepstow Road is closing after difficulties recruiting for another doctor.

The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said it was notified in September last year that Dr Clive Phillips and Dr Alison Burton would resign on March 31.

Dr Burton said the pair had been managing the workload between themselves since September, 2017, when another doctor had left the practice.

She said the decision to leave had been made “with great regret and sadness.”

“Unfortunately it got to the point where it was no longer safe to keep on going,” Dr Burton said.

“If either of us were ill there would be no other doctors who could cover.

“It’s extremely sad that it’s come to this.

“A lot of the staff have been affected and are being made redundant but they have all found other jobs.”

Dr Burton said the closure reflected the struggles faced by surgeries across the country, with around five practices closing in Newport over recent years.

A spokeswoman for the health board said after attempts to recruit were unsuccessful, it was decided to allocate patients to other surrounding GP practices in the area.

“The health board has made all the necessary arrangements to ensure that all patients are automatically transferred to a GP practice local to where they reside,” the spokeswoman said.

“Approximately 4800 patients were notified, in writing, of their new GP practice from April 1 2019.

“Patients still have the option to register with an alternative GP practice, of their choice, if they wish to do so.

“The majority of patients have been allocated to four local GP Practices, who confirmed that they were able to accommodate additional patients.

“Dr Phillips and Dr Burton will continue to deliver general medical services to patients as normal until the contract ends March 31 2019.”

A planning application has been submitted to turn the surgery into a 10-bedroom house in multiple occupation (HMO).

‘High quality’ accommodation is promised to replace the existing reception and 10 consulting rooms in the two-storey terraced building.

Under the proposals there would be four bedrooms, a communal lounge, kitchen, dining room and bathroom facilities on the ground floor.

On the first floor there would be six bedrooms with two en-suites, and two shower rooms with toilets also planned.