A GP surgery that is responsible for the care of more than 40,000 Basingstoke residents is being urged to stop a new partnership until a proper consultation can take place.

The Camrose, Gillies and Hackwood Partnership (CGH) - the largest primary care provider in North Hampshire which has three surgeries in Brighton Hill, South Ham and the town centre - announced last week that it intended to form a partnership with American-based healthcare company Operose Health from this Friday (November 6).

But after serious concerns were raised by residents, including that they were not told about this by the surgery, one borough councillor has called for the partnership to be put on hold until patients can be consulted properly.

Cllr Paul Harvey said he was concerned over the partnership, saying: "This the NHS effectively being sold to an American healthcare surgery. That is a massive thing.

"I have been told that they have a reputation for selling assets and changing services.

"I am saying stop, talk to people, engage with people. Don't just expect people to accept it.

"The weight of the opinion expressed to me suggests that there is concern that pre-dates Covid."

He added that residents had told him that the first they had heard the news was from an article published by The Gazette last week, and had no communication from the surgery itself.

"The partners of these surgeries merged in order that they could provide, they told us, a better service for patients. That consultation was poor, and they left us with no choice, they were doing it anyway.

"Now, they have decided to ‘sell out’ to an American based healthcare company. I understand they say they have the best interests of patients in mind, but this is such a serious decision.

"I would invite the partners to consider the implications of allowing an American based healthcare company access like this.

"While I appreciate that GPs are private businesses and always have been, our NHS is not and the link between primary care and the NHS is critical to people’s confidence in our health system.

"GPs have a crucial responsibility to the NHS and not just their own practices as a business."

CGH say that the decision has not "been made lightly", and that they had been "exploring a number of opportunities to support the practice in order to ensure that we can continue to provide high quality and sustainable primary care services for our patient population".

They added that they "do not expect significant changes to the way the practice works".

The surgery was rated by patients as the worst GP surgery in Basingstoke in July, with just 63 per cent of patients saying their overall experience was good.