THREE problematic doctors’ surgeries which have been criticised for their below par services are set to be taken over by a new management company.

Frinton Road Medical Practice in Holland-on-Sea, Epping Close Surgery in Clacton, and Green Elms Medical Centre in Jaywick were run by Anglian Community Enterprise.

The health care provider’s shortcomings came under scrutiny after NHS bosses forced a change of management at the Caradoc Surgery in Frinton.

Subsequently, ACE was told to make improvements to three other troubled surgeries or they would once again risk being taken over by another provider.

In July, the practices were given 28 days to make changes to their services and told they could face being shut down if progress wasn’t made.

The ultimatum came following reports of patients being made to wait more than 30 minutes to book appointments, order prescriptions and get test results.

Once the notice period had ended, the surgeries the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group said they would be keeping a close eye on the situation.

But a joint decision between ACE and the CCG has now been made to transfer the running of the services to new provider.

Frank Sims, ACE’s chief executive, said: “This has been a hard decision because we have been in the sector for many years and in that time we have worked tirelessly to provide the best service in some challenging environments.

“In the last three months we have seen dramatic improvements and thanks must go to those staff who have worked diligently to improve the service both at the surgeries and the telephone answering hub.

“As a social enterprise, our focus is on providing healthcare services to and investing in the community and we think we can do this best by supporting, and not running, primary care services.”

The services provided by Frinton Road, Epping Close and Green Elms, will now be the responsibility of the Ranworth Surgery in Clacton, as part of a 12-month caretaker contract.

The decision was made following discussions between NHS England, the CCG and Ranworth surgery’s Dr Farrukh Shamshad.

Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive of North East Essex CCG said: “We are very grateful for all the hard work that ACE staff have put in to deliver improvements to the services at these three practices, particularly over the last three months.“By mutual agreement the decision has been made to transfer the services and all parties will endeavour to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for both patients and staff.”