WORRIED Langwith residents fear their local surgery could be closed or moved elsewhere when its contract runs out next year.
The village surgery, on Main Street, is privately run by primary care company The Practice but its contract with the Primary Care Trust is set to run out in November 2012.
Despite reassurances from health chiefs that services will remain local, patients fear the practice could be merged with facilities in neighbouring areas including Creswell.
Whaley Thorns resident Kath Sharpe says moving the surgery out of Langwith village would create problems for residents.
“This could be another nail in the coffin for us,” she said.
“We went through all this two years ago (when Chilvers & McCrea Ltd took management of the building) when we fought for our surgery but this time it is different because it is all about money.
“If there is no surgery in Langwith we may have to travel to Shirebrook which will require a car or a taxi.
“But not everybody drives and this will be particularly hard for elderly people.
“We now have a good chemist in Langwith since Boots took it over but this would affect them as well.
“To me ‘transition’ means that we are going to move to another practice but we want a public meeting so we can know the facts.”
Resident Tanya Screen added: “It’s always been a good service here but it’s worrying that it might close, a surgery is extremely important for every community,” she said.
NHS Derbyshire County say it is working closely with local GPs and councils to ensure a smooth transition of services for patients when the contract ends.
This is likely to be a combination of the introduction of new services or facilities and the transfer of patients to other local practices.
Jackie Pendleton, assistant director of commissioning at NHS Derbyshire County, said: “Patients are at the heart of everything we do, so we are planning well in advance to ensure that our patients benefit from the highest quality of care in 2012 and beyond.
“We are now in early discussions with GPs and local councils and we will be speaking to patient groups shortly.
“All patients from the two practices (Langwith and Creswell) can be assured that services will remain close to home and we will inform them of new developments.”