THE death of a popular doctor has prompted health bosses to assess plans for the long-term future of a Bury GP practice.

It comes after the tragic death of Dr Saad Al-Dubbaisi, former practice lead at Garden City Medical Centre in Holcombe Brook, who died in May, after contracting coronavirus.

Garden City is currently being managed by another nearby practice as part of a caretaking agreement.

However, NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for planning and paying for services in the borough's GP practices, says it now needs to consider longer term plans for the practice.

Patients of Garden City are, as a result, being asked to share their thoughts and feedback to help inform the CCG's proposals.

Dr. Jeff Schryer, chairman of NHS Bury CCG said: “Garden City is currently being managed through a caretaking arrangement in the safe hands of Huntley Mount Medical Centre working in conjunction with Walmersley Road Medical Practice.

"This arrangement will be in place for up to 12 months to ensure continuity of quality care, giving us the opportunity to fully consider all options in relation to the future of the Practice.

“The most important thing is that we make the best decision for ongoing medical provision for the patients of Garden City.

"So it is vitally important that this consideration involves Garden City patients and is informed by their feedback.”

Patients of the practice will shortly receive a letter inviting them to share their feedback, via a short survey, by August 5.

This survey can be accessed through the CCG or Garden City websites.

Alongside patient feedback, the CCG says other factors ­— including equity and patient choice, existing services, value for money, premises and population growth ­— will also be considered.

Meanwhile, the views of key stakeholders are also being sought, including from neighbouring practices.

At present, NHS Bury CCG said that no decisions have been made.

But it added that it hopes to be in a a position to 'consider an options appraisal for the longer term of the practice' at a meeting of the Primary Care Commissioning Committee, scheduled to take place in August.