ONE of Chelmsford’s largest GP surgeries will be taken over by a new health provider.

In March, Sutherland Lodge in Baddow Road, which has about 12,000 residents on its books, was put up for sale, after four of its seven doctors gave notice on their contracts as a result of deep cuts in funding.

But this week NHS England announced Virgin Care Services would take over the surgery from the first of July, a move welcomed by MP Simon Burns.

He said: “I’m relieved NHS England has been able to find a new organisation, which will provide minimal disruption to patients. I’m confident Virgin Care will provide continuous and seamless healthcare for the 12,000 patients with no hiatus.

“About 95 per cent of GP practices in this country are privately owned.

“Virgin ran the walk-in centre in North Springfield successfully to my knowledge, and I’m confident they will provide first-class care.”