CONCERNS for the future of healthcare in Basingstoke have been raised following the news of a proposed merger of three surgeries.

As previously reported in The Gazette, the Gillies and Overbridge Medical Partnership, in Brighton Hill, Camrose Medical Partnership, in South Ham, and The Hackwood Partnership, in Essex Road, are intending to merge later this year.

The move to provide a more cost-effective service would affect more than 44,000 patients.

However, one ward councillor has raised concerns saying that there needs to be full transparency during the consultation period.

Cllr Andy McCormick, ward member for Brighton Hill South said: “The aim of these proposals is to save money.

“It appears that money is being put above the interests of patients.

“This may be the expectation of the government, but we believe the interests of the patient should always come first, and that means maintenance of existing services and not rationing them to single sites serving 44,000 people.

“No mention is made of closing sites, but that surely must be the next step under this “amalgamation”.

“We have already seen the Overbridge and Hatch Warren surgeries close as a result of previous “amalgamations”.

“Yet the number of patients requiring treatment, and the demands placed on health services by an ageing and increasingly obese population, are still increasing.”

In the proposals put forward, all patients would remain at their registered GP but it is planned certain services will only be offered from each individual site.

For example, respiratory nurse appointments will be run out of the Hackwood site, family planning and woman’s health and minor surgery will be based at the Camrose clinic, and a diabetes clinic will be hosted at the Gillies site, which would mean patients would have to travel to each dedicated surgery.

Project manager Amy Taplin said: “The main driver for the merging of the three practices is to ‘futureproof’ the services being offered to our collective patient populations.

“There is currently a GP recruitment and retention crisis affecting general practice across the country.

“If we do not merge, it is quite likely that at least one of the practices will not survive the next three years due to the inability to recruit and retain GP partners.

“All routine GP appointments will continue to be offered from all three sites so patients will still be able to request and book routine appointments with their usual GP at the site at which they are currently registered.”

She added: “There are no plans to close any of the three sites.”

To find out more about the merger proposal, go to