I have received the following update from the NHS on the situation at Harbottle.
This is good news for all those living in the Valley and I will be keep on top of the consultation process which will start and then the full tender for a permanent contract next year.
This has been a gruelling few weeks for everyone, and I am pleased that we have services back into the Harbottle site before winter sets in:
Statement from NHS England
Following the closure of Harbottle GP surgery on 28 August, when Dr Miah handed back her contract, NHS England Cumbria and the North East has
been in urgent negotiations with a neighbouring practice to provide some services back in the village.
NHS England's main priority has always been to ensure patients continue to have access to high quality GP services and an agreement has now been secured with The Rothbury Practice which, from 19 October, will provide some GP and nursing services from the Harbottle premises.
Under the new arrangements, Harbottle will operate as a branch surgery of The Rothbury Practice, so all patients wishing to access appointments will need to live within The Rothbury Practice catchment area and
register with the main surgery.
Registration with The Rothbury Practice also means patients can benefit from access to appointments there five days a week and every third Thursday late night appointments until 7:30pm. The main surgery at Rothbury also offers a wide range of clinics and health assessments.
Two half-day GP sessions and two half-day nurse sessions per week will operate from the Harbottle premises, similar to the previous sessions available to patients there.
Patients who do not live within The Rothbury Practice catchment area will need to register with an alternative practice, such as Bellingham.
Arrangements have been made for the small number of patients who live in the upper Coquetdale area, who do not live within any other practice boundaries, to register with Rothbury.
The new service will be for an initial period of 12 months, allowing NHS England and Northumberland CCG to carry out a detailed assessment of local primary care needs and to consult more widely on longer term options.
Dr Craig Melrose, medical director for NHS England Cumbria and the North
East, said: "We are delighted the people of Harbottle will be able to access
services provided by such a well-established practice. Not only will they be able to attend local appointments in Harbottle village, but they
will also have the backing and wider services available from the practices main surgery in Rothbury.
NHS England is very pleased to have successfully secured access and
continuity for primary care services in Harbottle.
We will be writing to all patients with details about which services can be accessed and when, with a reminder to register with The Rothbury Practice to ensure they can make appointments at the branch surgery in