SLAIDBURN residents will have to wait a further three months before finding out if a doctor’s surgery will be closed.

NHS England has told the practice there would not be a national solution to funding problems.

They said a decision would be taken locally after consulting with patients and looking at the practice’s finances.

If the Townend surgery closes, more than 1,000 patients will face journeys of eight miles or more to see a doctor in Clitheroe.

Residents have been campaigning against the closure since last summer and more than 2,000 signed a petition which was presented to Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans when he visited the centre last year.

Deputy practice manager, Heather Harrison, said: “We were hoping to have a solution by now, but this decision just makes it even harder to plan for the future.

“We are disappointed that this has happened because it just seems to be going on and on.”

Dorothy Pearson, chairman of Friends of Slaidburn Health Centre, said: “It’s a horrible situation to be in and it’s perfectly possible that we could still not have an answer in 12 months time.

“We were all hoping that NHS England would make a decision, but now everything seems to have turned against us.”