HEALTH bosses will decide the fate of a Canvey doctors surgery later this month.

The future of the Long Road Surgery, in Long Road, was thrown into doubt after the death of its much-loved GP, Dr Umer Suleman-Qureshi, last June.

The NHS announced it was considering four options for the surgery, one being closure, meaning its 2,300 patients have been left in limbo over whether or not they need to find another doctor.

Now, the health body has announced a decision will be made in two weeks’ time.

A spokesman said: “A decision is expected on February 24 following an internal meeting.

“At this meeting, consideration will be given to all the responses from patients and stakeholders which have been received as part of the consultation.”

The consultation was launched last year despite the current GP, Dr Muhammad Ashar Ayub, stating he is happy to continue running the practice.

The news comes after a petition signed by more than 600 people to save the surgery from closure, went missing two weeks ago.

Patients are being urged to return to the practice to resign the campaign document.

Dr Ayub said: “I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that they will allowme to continue practising here, but we will have to wait and see.

“I don’t know how the petition went missing in the surgery but thankfully, through word of mouth, we have managed to get almost as many signatures as we did before.

“If anyone would like to sign it again, they are welcome to.”

Another option being considered is to advertise for another GP to run it as a branch to an existing practice already on the island.

However, patients unanimously voted for Dr Ayub to stay, at a meeting last month.