A FORMER patient at a surgery due to be taken over by an American-owned healthcare firm has spoken out about how people in Popley will feel “very uneasy” at the news of another takeover.

Mark Hill was affected when Shakespeare Road Medical Practice suddenly closed in April, as he was left in the dark as to when he’d be able to get his regular insulin prescription. He’s since submitted a complaint with the CCG and has moved to another surgery.

The surgery, formerly known as Bermuda and Marlowe, closed temporarily without warning after pressures related to the takeover by Bramblys Grange built up. Last month, The Gazette reported how that takeover had collapsed due to a struggled to recruit clinical staff, and that Operose, an American-owned health firm responsible for a controversial takeover of the Camrose, Gillies and Hackwood partnership last year, would be running the surgery from next month.

Speaking to The Gazette, Mark said: “There is a large number of residents who require regular medication weekly, and we cannot afford another rocky hand over. This will put lives at risk, and we cannot allow this to happen again.

“It’s simply not fair to fall back onto the NHS 111 service.

“After the last shameful show from the CCG and the practice closing, I moved to another practice. So thankfully this will no longer affect me, however, this is a public message to the CCG directly.

“My complaint has been pending for almost a full calendar year with no meaningful response, and I think the residents of Popley need proper assurances that this hand over will be conducted appropriately with no further closures,” the 36-year-old continued.

“I think the public should be fully consulted on the matter before it happens, as far as I am aware the only notification they have had is a message posted on a website which is a complete joke.

“The CCG needs to ensure full communications take place as this did not happen last time and it’s simple not acceptable anymore.

“We need to know what is happening, when and who is doing it. What is the full plan and timescale.”

The latest takeover will mean Operose are responsible for the primary care services of more than 53,500 people in Basingstoke.

Dr Charlotte Hutchings, clinical lead for North and Mid Hampshire at the NHS body responsible for organising primary care services, said that it was "hugely welcome news".

She said: “This week we have signed a contract to bring in Operose Health to provide care and support to patients from the Shakespeare Road Medical Practice.

"That is hugely welcome news for both the patients and staff there, and we are already working with the new contract-holder so that they can move in seamlessly on 1 December.”

Shakespeare Road patients do not have to do anything and should not notice anything different when the contract changes.

Extra clinical and admin staff are being brought in to support the takeover in the coming weeks.