A BELOVED doctor’s surgery on Canvey has been saved... but a new GP could be taking over.

The future of Long Road Surgery in Long Road was thrown into doubt last June following the death of popular GP Dr Umer Suleman-Qureshi, meaning closure could have been on the cards.

Now, its fate is secured after health bosses announced they intend to keep the busy surgery open for the 2,300 patients.

However, the news is bittersweet as Dr Muhammad Ashar Ayub, who is running the surgery, will not be allowed to continue.

Instead, the NHS is advertising for another GP to take it on as a branch to an existing practice.

A spokesman for NHS England Essex said: “We will keep local patients informed of progress. Our aim is to ensure there is continuity of high-quality services to patients at the surgery.”

Scores of patients packed out the surgery during a public meeting in January, calling for Dr Ayub to continue running the surgery.

However, NHS England has decided against it.

Dr Ayub said he was “disheartened”

by the news.

He said: “Representatives from the NHS met with us on Tuesday and they have decided to keep the surgery open, but advertise for a new GP. It is really good news the surgery is staying open so I am happy that patients do not have to go anywhere else. As long as the surgery stays open that is half the battle.

“I saw this coming to be honest, but I am disheartened. Everyone has been so supportive of me, all the staff and patients have been brilliant. I can’t fault them at all for the care they have given me.

“By the looks of it I can’t bid for it unless one of the other surgeries want to bid and take me on as a doctor, but I don’t know if that will happen.

“Thank God I do have a job as a partner at another practice in Leigh, so I have something to fall back on.”


Doctor has overwhelming backing 

PATIENTS say they are disappointed another doctor could be taking over.

Sid Cope, of Vicarage Close, Canvey, said: “I am over the moon the surgery will stay open, it will save people a lot of hassle to find another doctor. But I am very sad Dr Ayub can’t take over. He is very, very good, the same as Dr Qureshi was, and a lot of people liked him.”

Stan Weeden, of Grasmere Road, Canvey, said it was unfair Dr Ayub was not given priority to take on the practice.

Mr Weeden said: “If this becomes part of another surgery we will not be given the same priority as the main branch. We will become a second class surgery.

“It is a real shame, it doesn’t seem like the NHS gave Dr Ayub a fair chance, it seems like they just wanted him out. He wasn’t included in the list of options for the surgery and I don’t see why because everyone likes him.”