POSITIVE steps have been made in securing the future of two Basingstoke GP surgeries.

The North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has entered into discussion with a local practice to take over the contract for the running of the Beggarwood and Rooksdown surgeries.

As previously reported in The Gazette, current provider IMH Group had decided to pull out of both facilities.

There have been long-standing issues at both surgeries, with both sites being rated as ‘requires improvement’ following their latest Care Quality Commission inspections.

Both surgeries have had issues regarding patient waiting times and staffing levels for a long period of time.

In a statement from the CCG it said: “We know that many of the patients value the practice staff and can confirm that they will be able to transfer to the new provider.

“During this interim period the current contract holder, Cedar Medical Limited, has assured the CCG that the appropriate level of clinical staffing will be in place to ensure that safe and high-quality care is provided for patients.

“The CCG will maintain regular contact and review of the patient services provided on both the Rooksdown and Beggarwood sites.”

However, a number of staff, clinical and non-clinical, have decided they would prefer not to be part of the future plans and have resigned.

Ward councillors for the respective areas have raised concerns about the short-term delivery of healthcare services while negotiations are ongoing but view the news positively.

Rooksdown ward councillor Simon Bound said: “At this stage any news is better than nothing.

“All we want is to be a focus on providing stable healthcare for the people of Rooksdown. We’ve had to fight a lot to get here, from staffing problems to not having a permanent building.

“It now feels like things could finally be going in the right direction.”

Councillor Terri Reid, ward member for Hatch Warren and Beggarwood said: “The sooner we have confirmation as to what is happening the better. All residents want is continuity of care.

“I believe if whoever takes over understands the local need then we will start seeing improvements to the services patients receive.”

The North Hampshire CCG said it would keep residents informed as developments unfold.

Representatives from the North Hampshire CCG will be attending a meeting held by the Rooksdown and Beggarwood Patient Participation Group (PPG) later this month to address concerns and questions that patients may have about the future of the surgeries.