WINKLEBURY residents are calling for a new doctor's surgery to be built to cope with rising demand. 

A petition, launched on Saturday, already has 200 signatures and the support of Basingstoke's MP Maria Miller

The campaign, set up by Mrs Miller and three Conservative councillor hopefuls, is demanding that the Clinical Commissioning Group for Hampshire constructs a new healthcare centre to serve the area. 

Fort Hill Medical Centre is currently only open 2.5 hours per week. 
And with a population of 6,000, campaigners say a full-time service is needed.

Mike Patchett, one of the figures behind the petition, said he understood the challenges facing the CCG but there was a strong case for a new surgery.

"Winklebury has the highest cases of chronic illness such as |diabetes of any Ward in the borough," he said. 

"We have a population that has higher than average demographics of older and young families, both groups typically require better healthcare provision.

Mr Patchett added: "Currently the residents of Winklebury are forced to travel to Surgery's across the town to get access to Primary Healthcare.

"Winklebury has a lower than average car ownership meaning residents are forced onto complex public transport journeys whilst ill." 

Sean Dillow, another organiser, said: "The petition was launched on Saturday morning by Maria Miller MP and the three Conservative candidates for the new Manydown and Winklebury ward, and has already gathered over 200 signatures.

"The need for a new medical centre that will support the needs of Winklebury and the new Manydown development is essential. The petition will be presented to the Clinical Commissioning Group so we are appealing for the whole of Winklebury to back this important campaign."

Mr Patchett said people can sign the petition at businesses across the ward: Burtons at Winklebury Centre, McColls on Elmwood Way, Watson Way Post Office, The Winkle and Sycamore Halls Community Centre.

He said: "Having a "physical petition" rather than a digital one means that the signatures gathered can not be disputed and the necessity for residents to go out and sign the forms adds weight to the petition when it is presented.

"Residents who wish to sign but are unable to make the petition locations may contact me and I will arrange for someone to visit them and collect their signature."