“WHERE’S the guarantee?’ are the words of local councillors following talks with the North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (NHCCG) about the state of two struggling GP surgeries.

As previously reported in The Gazette, Beggarwood Surgery and The Rooksdown Practice have both come under fire for poor service, long waits for appointments and low staff morale.

Basingstoke’s MP Maria Miller along with respective ward councillors Terri Reid and Simon Bound have called for new management at both surgeries, which are currently overseen by Cedar Medical group, a branch of the Incorporating Malling Health (IMH) group.

Following a meeting with the NHCCG on Tuesday, 19 September, councillors are happy with the support offered to the practices, but are still seeing issues.

Hatch Warren and Beggarwood ward councillor Terri Reid said: “We had reassurance from the CCG about their ongoing support to the surgeries.

“However, I did not come away from the meeting knowing that all the problems will be over.

“The very next day I had another report of complaints at Beggarwood, so it is not just going to go away.

“Where’s the guarantee that we are going to see a change?”

Cllr Reid told The Gazette that despite pushes for new management at the surgeries, the CCG does not have the power to remove Cedar Medical as the contract holders.

This would ultimately be to the discretion of NHS England.

Cllr Reid added: “NHS England have said they would only step in as an absolute last resort.

“But we feel this is a last resort situation, but for now we just have to keep monitoring the situation and gathering as much evidence to present to NHS England as possible.”

As joint commissioners of GP services, NHS England and the NHCCG said it has been working together to deliver identified improvements.

A CCG spokeswoman said: “The CCG and NHS England are working in partnership with the staff at Beggarwood Surgery to address the identified improvements and taking the steps required to support the delivery of a safe and effective service. The staff at the surgery have been extremely helpful and are fully committed to making the changes required. By continuing to work closely together and support the surgery we aim to help them to deliver high quality, patient-centred care.”

“Senior representatives from the CCG, including the local quality lead who is part of the team supporting the practice, are met with MP Maria Miller, cllr Terri Reid and the local council chief executive, Mel Barrett, to discuss current progress against the improvement plan.”