ALL three doctors’ surgeries around Harwich have closed their doors to new patients.

Fronks Road Surgery and Mayflower Medical Centre are the latest surgeries in the area to suspend the registration of patients.

They’ve joined Harewood Surgery, in Great Oakley, which had already stopped taking in new patients.

The latest figures on the NHS website show Mayflower Medical Centre, in Main Road, has 17,752 patients and nine doctors, Fronks Road Surgery has 4,924 patients and three doctors and Harewood Surgery has 2,986 patients and two doctors.

A statement from Mayflower Medical Centre said: “The reason we have come to this decision is because the number of patients wishing to register with us continues to increase.

“We feel that in order to ensure safety and maintain the high standard of care we offer patients who are already registered with us, we must take this decision.”

The next closest surgery which is still taking new patients is Lawford Surgery, in Edgefield Avenue – which is about 12 miles away from Mayflower Medical Centre.

Harewood Surgery released a statement on its website saying it has closed its patient list for clinical safety reasons due to the fact it has 3,000 patients per full time doctor.

It said: “The clinical commissioning group feels that we should open our list, but if this were the case for safety reasons, we feel that we may have to consider alternative options.

“We hope that you will support us in keeping our list temporarily closed.

“We did ask that we could build a new surgery, but they have now declined this and wish us to take several hundred more patients on in our already busy surgery.”

Fronks Road Surgery was unable to comment.

John Brown, Harwich mayor, said he thinks the suspensions are “absolutely ridiculous”.

He said: “If we can’t cope now, then how will we cope if another 300 homes get built in Dovercourt?”

Pam Morrison, Harwich councillor, said: “It’s not only doctors which are struggling, it’s the fire service and dentists, and it affects the whole town.”

An NHS England spokesman said it and North East Essex CCG are working together with the Mayflower Medical Centre to resolve the issues.

She said: “This can happen from time to time when practices experience unusually high levels of demand and is a way of ensuring that high quality services are maintained. We would like to assure patients they will continue to have access to primary medical care and will be able to register with a GP practice in the area.”

For support to register with a GP practice visit NHS Choices website or call 0300 31122332.