A GP practice is to be divided into two as its buildings are too far apart.

Ardingly Court Surgery in Brighton operates across sites in Ardingly Street in the city centre and Wellsbourne Health Centre in Whitehawk.

The Ardingly team took over the Whitehawk site last year when The Practice group pulled out of its contract to run five surgeries in the city.

The move doubled the practice’s size from 6,000 to 12,000, putting it under extra pressure.

Currently patients can choose to see a doctor or nurse at either site.

However a letter sent out by the surgery said the sites would begin operating separately from April 1 and asked patients to register with the site they wanted to use.

It said: “We are doing this because of the distance between the two clinics.

“It makes sense for each neighbourhood to have its own team of doctors and nurses dedicated to giving their own patients the best possible services.

“You will not be left without care at any time and none of the existing doctors intends to stop providing medical care in the city.”

The practice is planning to relocate from Ardingly Street to a revamped council-owned site in Old Steine and Pavilion Place.

The council plans to borrow £850,000 towards the cost of the revamp and refit.

The NHS will pay a further £813,000 for the work.

The site is about 7,000 square feet, which is nearly 4,500 square feet larger than the current surgery.

The CCG will pay back the cost of the council’s loan during the 20-year lease for the site.

The move could lead to the practice getting more consulting and treatment rooms to allow it to recruit GPs and other staff to provide extra services.

Eight surgeries have closed in the last two years in the city, putting extra demand on other practices who have taken on extra patients.

In a report to Brighton and Hove City Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee, the city’s clinical commissioning group said work was being done to bring greater stability and resilience to practices.

This includes identifying practices which are vulnerable, such as those whose GP is about to retire, and providing support where needed.

This includes recruitment, planning demand and capacity, training, medicines management and finances.

A telephone-led consultation service has also been commissioned with a view to reducing the operational pressure on the most pressured practices.

Health bosses hope giving extra support to GPs will help reduce the number of people going to the busy accident and emergency department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital because they struggle to get appointments.