QUESTIONS over the future of a Winchester GP surgery are starting to be answered.

We thank the St Clements practice for the statement that explains its position over the impasse with the city council surrounding the relocation from its 1960s building on Tanner Street to the proposed £4 million centre on Friarsgate.

If it was publicity in the Hampshire Chronicle that focussed the GPs minds then that is another example of the necessity of the local press.

The 16,000 patients on the books will be more than interested to know the surgery’s thoughts.

The issue for the doctors is the uncertainty over the future of the NHS and their own personal liability at signing a 21-year lease. These fears are of course understandable; anyone would think twice if their own mortgage would be in jeopardy should something go wrong with their workplace.

But this situation does still look slightly ridiculous. Planning permission has been given for a new medical centre; the money is there to build it; the current building will deteriorate; the proposed surgery is ‘state of the art’; and yet a deal is said to be looking “unlikely.”

It is in everyone’s interest that the agreement between the GPs and the council is concluded. Perhaps a little more give and take is needed from the council. Hard bargains are all very well but not in these circumstances.