A GP practice is being taken over by another health centre in County Durham.

Coxhoe Medical Practice will be taken over by Chester-le-Street based Cestria Health Centre in April.

It follows a decision by Dr Rakesh Bhati, the senior partner and co-owner of the Coxhoe surgery, to relocate to the South.

Denise Minnis, practice manager at Cestria Health Centre, said: “We are committed to keeping all that is best about Coxhoe whilst maximising the benefits of being part of a larger organisation.

“We plan to provide you with continuity, better access to clinicians and a wider range of services, while still retaining a ‘small and friendly’ feel.”

Responsibility for the care of patients will transfer to Cestria on April 1.

Cestria says it is planning to review how appointments will be made and is hoping to increase the number available.

No staff are being made redundant. The partners of the joint practice will be Dr Adam Douglas, Dr Neil O’Brien, Dr Lynne Trainor, Dr Tina Ninan and Dr Patrick Creedon.