A DOCTOR has launched a campaign against plans to develop a new super clinic in Rochford and Rayleigh.

Dr Jamie Nicholls, of the Jones Family Practice, in Hockley, said patients could have to travel miles to see a doctor, and the personal touch will be lost.

Rumours have been circulating about derelict land next to Rosedale Court in Hockley Road, Rayleigh being the likely site for the super clinic.

GPs would be given the option to move into the new superclinic, but Dr Nicholls fears there will be no choice in the matter.

He said: "They've said all the practices don't have to move into it.

"We live in the real world. They will be putting us in competition.

"Effectively they will starve out all the other practices and then when they do shut down, they won't have any competition."

Dr Nicholls said the money would be better spent elsewhere in the NHS and questioned why £215,000 had been spent extending his surgery last year - only for it to be under threat of closure.

Inger Metaj, 24, of Highams Road, Hockley, is a patient at the Jones Family surgery.

She said: "I think it's ridiculous.

"It always seems to be busy here. It's not like it's empty. It's a big district to cover for one surgery and it's a long way for people to travel, although it's easier for me than older residents."

Craig Gibbard, Project Manager for South East Essex Primary Care Trust, said the main aim of the new centre is to provide a range of healthcare services to patients from within modern buildings.

He said: "Local GP surgeries will be given the option to move into the new primary care centres.

"The Rayleigh project is at a very early stage.

"We have not yet located a preferred site where we would propose to build the primary care centre.

"However, we will fully consult with the public on any future proposals."

For more information about a campaign, including a petition, to save the surgeries go to www.