CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to close a Wollaston GP surgery insist support is increasing for their cause.

Bosses of Three Villages Medical Practice want to close their Bridgnorth Road site and relocate fully to Stourbridge Health and Social Centre in Amblecote where they already have a surgery.

But the closure plan has been condemned by patients and the practice's own Patient Participation Group (PPG) which believes the decision to close is putting business before patients.

Colin Burch, vice chairman of the PPG and a patient at Bridgnorth Road for more than 40 years, said: "Patients should be the priority, not business. But the proposal has left a considerable number of people extremely worried as to what will happen.

"We have launched a petition and have already obtained over 650 signatures and we're hoping to get more, at least another 100 or so.

"The consultation process closes on September 19 and we urge everyone to make their feelings known."

The action group has already made an impact by getting weekly blood testing reinstated at Bridgnorth Road, which is set to resume on Monday September 10.

They have also obtained the backing of MPs Margot James and Gavin Williamson together with local councillors who have made representation on their behalf to Dudley CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group).

A statement on the Three Villages website says the closure is planned because bosses feel "Wollaston is no longer able to operate effectively in modern general practice". Surgery chiefs say want to bring "all services together under one roof at Stourbridge Health and Social Care Centre" as working across two sites has become increasingly difficult and the practice budget does not allow the effective running of two sites without compromise. They say the move would also boost staff morale and improve retention of staff and they would be able to offer a full range of clinical skills from one site and they have stressed the changes would not result in a reduction in the number of appointments available.

The alternative surgery in John Corbett Drive is only just over a mile away from the Wollaston site, but Mr Burch believes it will cause considerable problems for elderly and disabled patients.

He added: "Elderly patients are becoming increasingly concerned over what will happen.

"If the proposal to close goes ahead, it will have a serious impact on the village as a considerable number of people use the practice, some of whom have been going for over 50 years".

A final decision on the closure is set to be made on October 19.

In the meantime people can sign the petition, copies of which can be found on the counter at Boots Pharmacy and Wollaston Post Office.

To have your say on the closure plan go to