PATIENTS fear they will be unable to access vital GP services under proposals to merge two surgeries in Leigh and Eastwood.

The Eastwood Group Practice currently runs three GP surgeries – two in Rayleigh Road, Eastwood, and one in Eastwood Road North.

Bosses have launched a consultation with patients to close the surgery at 346 Rayleigh Road and merge it with the Kent Elms Branch at 1 Rayleigh Road.

However, patients have raised concerns around the proposed move and fear they will be unable to travel to the Kent Elms Branch if the plan goes ahead.

The Eastwood Group Practice has insisted no final decision has been made.

Mandy Collins, 57, said: “Personally for myself, my husband has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and I had a heart attack at Christmas. I don’t drive, so I am going to struggle to get to Belfairs or Kent Elms.

“It will be such a massive headache for not only myself, but for the elderly too. I have been with the surgery for more than 30 years and it will be a sad loss.”

Decia Bushnell, 56, added: “I go to Kent Elms already, but I am really concerned about future parking issues.

“Especially with the dentist and Boots, all being in the same location. The schools also use the car park at pick up times too.”

There are around 4,000 patients who regularly use the branch in 346 Rayleigh Road.

Bosses at the Eastwood Group Practice say no decision has been made yet, but they are exploring how they can offer the “most efficient and effective care”.

A spokesman said: “No decision has yet been made to close this single site down. We would like to reassure the patients, that regularly use the small, converted bungalow at 346 Rayleigh Road, that their views of our patients are really important in helping us to consider the impact of these proposed changes.

“Patients would continue to see the same staff that they already do now, from doctors, receptionists, nurses and other clinical professionals. We already operate as one GP practice with our staff and clinicians moving across our three buildings. We believe that these changes could help to improve access to our services for our patients who already use our two other large purpose-built modern facility sites.”