A town centre doctor’s surgery has closed with immediate effect after a GP was declared bankrupt.

Health bosses have confirmed that the Abbey Surgery on Abbey Street in Accrington closed at the end of last week and that the situation was ‘out of their control’.

A general practitioner at the surgery - Dr Alec Yolomoni Kapenda - was declared bankrupt the day before the closure.

Marie Mootooveeren, practice nurse and manager who had been at the surgery since it opened in 1991, said six staff have been left out of a job.

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She said: “The staff at the former Abbey Surgery were shocked and saddened by the unexpected closure. We were on duty and just about to go home when we were told.

“We are all out of a job because of what happened. We need to speak to the insolvency people.

“It was totally unexpected and we didn’t even have time to say goodbye.

“Pauline, Karen, Anne, Liz, Alice and myself wish all of our patients love and best wishes for the future. We will miss them.”

A Facebook post from East Lancs CCG confirming the closure

The government’s Insolvency Service website states that Alec Yolomoni Kapenda, of Royds Avenue, Accrington, was declared bankrupt at the High Court in London on Wednesday, April 18.

NHS East Lancashire CCG said the closure was ‘not a hoax’ and they were only informed of the decision late on Thursday, April 19.

The CCG declined to comment about the bankruptcy when contacted by the Observer.

The surgery, which was rated ‘good’ in all areas by CQC inspectors in 2016, has 1,604 registered patients.

The CCG said they are working with local partners to make provision for patients with appointments at other local surgeries.

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In a statement posted on Facebook, they said: “The CCG can confirm that this is not a hoax and unfortunately Abbey Surgery in Accrington has closed.

“This is out of our control and the CCG were informed late [Thursday] afternoon of the situation. We have attempted to contact every patient who had an appointment today and we have made other arrangements for them. The CCG is continuing to work with other partners to ensure that patients have continuity of care. We thank people for their patience.”

Sharon Martin, from East Lancashire CCG, said: “The surgery closed due to unforeseen circumstances.

“Our priority is to ensure patients have a continuation of care and are still able to access high quality GP services but we understand this could be a worrying time. If you require any further information please contact customer care on 01772 214200.”

Patients who have already ordered a repeat prescription should collect them from the GP practice in Accrington Victoria Hospital.

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To order a repeat prescription or to book a GP appointment call 01254 770480. Anyone who needs advice out of hours on weekdays from 6.30pm and at weekends should call 111.