HALESOWEN’S MP is “not convinced” proposals which could close two GP surgeries in the town will benefit patients.

A six-week consultation has been launched by Stourside Medical Practice, which runs Tenlands Road Surgery and Coombswood Surgery, in Coombs Road, in a bid to move the two surgeries under one roof to Halesowen Health Centre in Birmingham Street.

In a letter to patients, Dr Ruth Hearn said a “great deal of thought and consideration” had gone into the proposals and the practice bringing the services together would ensure they are “safe and stable” from the risk of closure.

However, Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris has spoken out against the proposals, saying: “GP services work best when they are in the heart of the communities that they serve.

“This is so that patients can form a relationship with their GP and for them to be as easily accessible as possible. I am not convinced by anything I have read so far that these plans would benefit patients, but are being solely made as a business decision by the principal GP.”

Mr Morris, who said he has concerns about the way the consultation is being handled, added: “I want to make sure that all patients have an opportunity to participate in this consultation, to ensure that an accurate view of these proposals is heard.

“It’s really important that each and every patient takes part, and expresses their opinion. I will be watching this very closely to make sure it is a fair and transparent process.”

Dr Hearn said she would like to “reassure” Mr Morris that there are “many benefits” to relocating the services at the two smaller branches to their largest branch.

“I understand his hesitancy as, just as we have a duty to care for our patients, he also has a duty to listen to his constituents.

“I would also like to reassure Mr Morris and our patients that the decision to submit the proposal was not unilateral as suggested.

“The catalyst for change is a belief in the importance of safety, stability, more GP time and equality and diversity and these principals are universally important to the entire team.

“The suggestion that this was a business decision is absolutely correct – we are in the business of providing safe and stable medical care of a high quality through efficient use of resources and we believe this proposal will give us improved delivery in all these areas.

“It is important to clarify that any financial savings will be directly reinvested into providing a better service by using this money to fund more GP time.”

For more information on the surgery proposals visit www.stoursidenhs.co.uk, or to give your views as part of the consultation visit www.stoursidenhs.co.uk/proposal-feedback-form.

The results of the consultation, which is set to end on January 22, will then be reported to Dudley CCG for a final decision.