Candles were lit by ‘mourners’ outside a beloved Shrewsbury GP surgery as it closed its doors for the final time in September
This is an edited version of an article first published by the Shropshire Star.
Campaigners held the vigil to mark the closure of Whitehall Medical Practice, succumbing to eventual defeat after a hard-fought battle to save it.
It was revealed this summer that Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had failed to find a new provider to take over the running of the medical practice, which had more than 3,700 registered patients.
Protests ensued, with a petition bearing more than 1,000 signatures being presented to Shropshire Council.
Patient Dennis Cheese, who lead the campaign to preserve the practice, said its closure felt like losing a family member.
“We have fought a fight but we have lost,” he said.
“We are here to mark the closure and offer our support to the people in there who have looked after us over the years.
“I spoke to the manager yesterday and apparently the building is going to stay empty. Why couldn’t the contract be extended by a few months?”
He added: “I feel like I have let everybody down. I started this campaign up and we have lost.
“I am frustrated that the CCG didn’t reach out to us. I can’t get my head around how a public body can be so powerful and not be willing to engage with the public.”