Rustington surgery to close, affecting thousands, as popular GP retires

The Lawns Surgery, based at Zachary Merton Community Hospital in Glenville Road, Rustington, and inset, Dr Charles Shlosberg
The Lawns Surgery, based at Zachary Merton Community Hospital in Glenville Road, Rustington, and inset, Dr Charles Shlosberg

A GP surgery in Rustington which looks after 2,700 patients is closing.

After 24 years of caring for the community at The Lawns Surgery, Dr Charles Shlosberg will be retiring at the end of June, when the Glenville Road practice will close.

This comes as GP surgeries in Littlehampton and Rustington announced they would be merging, forming a 22,000-patient medical group, and Fitzalan Medical Group in Littlehampton showed improvements despite getting another 'inadequate' CQC rating.

Dr Shlosberg said: “I have not wanted this day to come but I have made a decision that I will be retiring at the end of June this year.

“It has been an absolute honour to be a doctor in this town and to serve the patients we have at The Lawns and I have been incredibly lucky over my career.

“I have the most incredible patients and I know from those that I have spoken to how valued The Lawns Surgery is to them all.

“I have tried to speak to as many of my patients face to face as possible and I am sorry if this is the first those reading this have heard of this news.

“There will be letters coming out to every patient over the next week and there will be drop in sessions and further information to explain the next steps.”

NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will make sure every registered patient at The Lawns Surgery has access to medical services after the surgery closes.

Dr Hannah Davies, executive medical director at the CCG, said: “It is our absolute priority to work with Dr Shlosberg and the team at The Lawns Surgery to support their patients through this change.

“We know how well loved Dr Shlosberg is by his patients and any change is not going to be easy. We will all do our best to make the next steps as easy and straightforward as possible for everyone.”

The news comes after Arun Medical Group closed in 2016 and more than 7,000 patients were transferred to other surgeries.

Dr Davies said: “We know that previous moves in the town may not have been as seamless for patients as they could have been, and we are absolutely focused on that not being the case this time around.”

As there was not a team that could take on The Lawns Surgery as it currently operated, the CCG said it was ‘looking at alternative options with the other GP practices in the town’.

It would be business as usual at the practice for now, Dr Shlosberg said: “I am happy to talk to anyone about the next steps and to help my patients over the coming weeks and months.

“Please don’t make any immediate decisions and think you have to change practices now, especially those who may have experienced moves before.

“Stay with us and there will be a supportive process to help you move as we approach the summer.”