A MEDICAL practice on a housing estate is to close, forcing 4,400 patients to find care elsewhere.

Deer Park Medical Centre in Witney will close as although a contract to run it was put out to tender, it has not been awarded.

An Oxfordshire NHS spokesperson said: “The contract to provide GP and related services at Deer Park Medical Practice in Witney is due to expire and was therefore recently put out to tender. Unfortunately the outcome of the process was that no contract was awarded, despite prolonged negotiations.

“As a result, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England are now discussing with current provider Virgin Care and other local GP practices the future provision of medical services for Deer Park patients.

“During these discussions the priority will be to ensure that patients continue to get a good level of care while new arrangements are put in place. We will be in touch with patients and other interested groups as the discussions progress.”

The contract for the centre was put out to tender in March. The failure to award a contract was revealed during a patient forum meeting earlier this week.

Former Witney mayor Jim King said: “The room was in complete and utter shock. There were even ladies from the centre there in tears.”

A petition has been launched to save the centre.