THE campaign to get Sankey Medical Centre re-opened now appears to be a lost cause as signs went up yesterday, Monday, advertising a private nursery moving into the building.

Patients were outraged earlier this year when they were given a few weeks notice the Barrowhall Lane practice would close and they would instead have to travel 4.5 miles to Orford Jubilee Park Health Centre.

Many residents had hoped a GP from Newton would be allowed to extend his catchment area and take over the Great Sankey surgery but those plans appear to have now been scuppered as the children’s nursery plans to take over the empty building.

Clr Hitesh Patel (LAB - Great Sankey South) said: "This is really disappointing because local residents have been very clear, they want a local GP surgery they can easily access.

“They have been let down by the GP practice who just 'upped sticks' without consulting anyone and they have been let down by NHS England who give out massive contracts to GPs but which clearly offer little protection to patients.

"Unfortunately the current site is owned privately so we have very little influence on who it is leased to and for what purpose.

“However, the Labour administration running the council is looking to invest £4m to modernise and refurbish Sankey Forum Leisure Centre so that it becomes more of a multi-service community hub, so we'll now see if we can persuade the NHS to join in with us and invest some money to create a local health facility there."

Steve Jeffers, chief executive officer of neighbouring pharmacy Medicx, said they will remain open and plan to work with the dial a ride scheme to help patients having difficulties visiting a doctor via public transport.

He also urged residents to demand a medical service is re-commissioned during an NHS England public consultation taking place across Chapelford, Great Sankey and Whittle Hall over the summer period.

Mr Jeffers added: “Rose, our pharmacists and her team at the pharmacy on Barrow Hall Lane would like to thank the public for their tremendous support over the last few months and remain committed to providing the best possible pharmaceutical care to their local community for many years to come.

“We would also like to thank clr Jean Carter and her colleagues for the help and support they have given us over the last few months and we look forward to working with the council, Livewire and the NHS while they plan for the new health and leisure services in Great Sankey.”