CALLS have been made for central government to intervene after a controversial merger of two GP surgeries was approved.

Last week a proposal to merge Bursledon Surgery with Blackthorn Health Centre in Hamble was given the green light by the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The plans were put forward by the Health Centre itself and called for the temporary measure by which Bursledon patients were being seen at the centre, to be made permanent.

Local leaders spoke out against the plans though, raising concerns that residents would have to travel further for face-to-face appointments.

Now, following the approval of the plans, the leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, councillor Keith House has written to Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, calling on him to intervene.

In the letter, Cllr House wrote: “We ask that you urgently review this decision and mandate providers (Blackthorn Surgery or another provider of primary care) to operate primary care services under the General Medical Services (GMS) contract from the Bursledon Surgery site, to ensure that GP services remain accessible to this important population in Bursledon.

“As well as this substantive issue of the merger, I would also like to raise a concern about the apparent lack of appeal, scrutiny process or local accountability involved in decisions such as these.”

Over 1,200 people responded to the survey on the plans, raising issues such as ability to travel between sites and GP practice sustainability.

According to NHS digital, as of September 1 there were 5,000 patients registered at Bursledon that will now be getting their main GP services from the Blackthorn Centre.