Shropshire Star

Key decision over village GP surgery 'temporarily closed' two years ago is put back

The future of a village surgery is still in limbo after a decision over whether to keep it closed permanently was put back.

Some of the protestors outside the surgery on Overton Road, St Martins

St Martins near Oswestry has been without a surgery since the beginning of lockdown two years ago.

A branch of the Chirk GP Surgery across the Shropshire/Wales border, it has not reopened with patients having to travel into the Welsh town for appointments.

There was to have been a meeting of the Betsi Cadwalladr Health Board Trust this week to hear from the Primary Care Commissioning Group about the future of the branch surgery.

But a spokesperson from the trust said that the meeting would be held at the end of the month.

"The Health Board has received an application for the permanent closure of St Martin’s Surgery, which is a branch of Chirk Surgery. This is currently due to be considered at the next meeting of the Primary Care Panel on 24 May," the spokesperson said.

Before the lockdown closure the surgery in St Martins opened on every weekday morning and late Wednesday afternoons to tie in with after school.

Residents are protesting at the application for permanent closure and a petition now has more than 500 signatures.

Nearly 100 local people were in attendance at the rally last weekend, with many residents lending personal testimonies to the difficulty of having services move from Chirk to St Martin’s.

They said that for those without their own transport, they had to take a bus into Oswestry and change for Chirk or be faced with a taxi fare of around £17, quoted to one resident.

Helen Morgan MP who was at the meeting, said: “It is obviously a really important issue for St Martins to keep access to a doctors surgery. The way the appointment system works is that often they are asked to come in at short notice to see the doctor. So if they haven't got access to a car and the bus is not running then they cannot get to those physical appointments. It is really important they are able to access physical surgery here.

“Put simply, permanent closure of the surgery will have a real impact on people’s health.

“We are still asking people to sign to show the full strength of opinion about the practice, and bolster our chances of keeping services in St Martins.”

The petition to protect the surgery, which is still accepting signatures is available to sign online at