A SOUTH Lakeland GP surgery which is in danger of closing down has been named the best in the country.

Hawkshead Medical Practice has achieved the highest patient satisfaction rating of all 8,000 English practices, but is still on the brink of closure, thanks to a change in government funding.

“We’re delighted our patients think so much of the service,” said Dr Jane Rimington, from the Red Lion Yard surgery.

“It shows the service we’re fighting to maintain is hugely appreciated by our patients. We won’t give up the fight. The personal service a small surgery can offer is worth saving.”

The practice had 93 per cent of patients rating it ‘very good’.

The survey, carried out by NHS England, asked patients about a range of issues relating to their local surgery and other local NHS services, including the ease with which they could make appointments, opening hours and quality of care.

But the practice faces an uncertain future, since the government announced changes to the funding formula for smaller practices in isolated communities.

“It’s clear that local residents really value the work they do,” said South Lakes MP Tim Farron, who has been leading the fight to keep the practice open.

“This data proves, however, that we must win our campaign to keep the Hawkshead Surgery open, and I’ll keep doing everything that I can to help the team win enough funding to keep providing their excellent service to local residents.”

The Coniston Surgery, which achieved a 33 per cent ‘very good’ rating from its patients, is also in danger of closure.

Earlier this year, hundreds of residents packed into a public meeting to argue the case for keeping both practices open.

“There’s a lot of hope and Tim Farron is working extremely hard on our behalf,” added Dr Rimington. “We’ve now got a lot of positive things to take us into the New Year.”

Other South Lakeland practices to do well in the survey include Cartmel Surgery, which achieved a 78 per cent ‘very good’ rating, and Windermere Health Centre, with 77 per cent.