Alderney's States has agreed to buy the island's only GP surgery, in a move described as 'unusual' by the island's Chief Executive, but one that's designed to provide certainty for residents.
The Island Medical Centre is the island's only GP practice.
In May, its owner Gordon Fitton, announced it would close within days due to the difficulty finding doctors to work in Alderney, meaning the only GP was in danger of 'burnout'.
It also emerged that the business had faced financial challenges for some time.
Talks began immediately between Mr Fitton and the States of Guernsey and Alderney and it was agreed to continue operating the practice with support from GPs from Guernsey's Queen's Road Medical Practice, while negotiations continued.
Kath Jones, the Chief Executive of the States of Alderney, says an agreement has been reached to bring the practice under public ownership:
“While it is unusual for the States to own a medical practice, this is something that all parties involved in recent discussions agreed was in the best interests of the community to ensure long-term stability of GP provision.
There’s a great team at the IMC, who have been supported in recent weeks by the Queens Road Medical Practice, and between them they have enabled the service to continue."
She says talks have been positive:
"I’d like to thank the owner of IMC for the collaborative way he has engaged with us, always with the community’s needs at the heart of discussions and following a challenging six years for the business financially, which we understand made it un-viable for IMC to continue without changes."
The practice owner, Gordon Fitton, says it's a good outcome:
“We are delighted that States of Alderney and Guernsey have engaged with us to ensure the best possible healthcare model for the island. We are hugely grateful for the commitment of the Practice Manager, staff and medics of the IMC, and for the support of Queens Road Medical Practice."