VILLAGERS have been left with no GP surgery after plans to hold sessions two days a week in a school fell through after parents complained.

Birch Surgery closed last month after the practice decided not to renew its lease in Mill Road in the village.

But patients had been told GP appointments would be available at Birch Church of England Primary School, in nearby School Hill, two days a week.

However, when Bruno Hickman attended an appointment at the school on Tuesday, which he understood to have been booked, he was told the plans had fallen through after parents raised concerns over the plans.

The bus driver was told he could re-book the appointment at the Winstree Medical Practice's other two branches in Stanway or Layer-De-La-Haye.

The 54-year-old, who lives in Mill Lane, Birch, said: "We had been told although the surgery was closing, there would be appointments available for patients two-days-a-week.

"But instead the whole thing has completely gone. There's nothing here at all.

"The impression we were given was that it was all lined up but I think there are a lot of people with red faces.

"I was told parents had objected to it, but no one thought to tell the patients."

Mr Hickman also raised concerns over how older people who live alone would be able to get to appointments in Stanway or Layer-De-La-Haye.

He said: "I've got a car so I'm able to get around independently but there will be people who don't have a car and don't know people who have a car and so can't get to appointments themselves."

Kevin Bentley, whose Essex County Council ward includes Birch, had been working with the surgery to guarantee a presence in the village.

But he has also been left shocked after the plans failed.

He said: "The last thing I knew was that it was going to go to the school.

"The school had had briefings with parents and some concerns had been raised.

"It was planned for a segregated part of the school, away from the children."

Mr Bentley added: "I have to say I am not best-pleased that I am now getting calls from residents who are quite rightly concerned.

"It's not the way people should be treated."

The Gazette was told by Winstree Surgery Practice the plans had fallen through and at the moment no other options are being considered in the village.

Messages left with the school by The Gazette went unanswered.