TWO GP surgeries with 16,000 patients are the latest in the county to announce plans to merge saying ‘in this current climate, smaller surgeries are not sustainable.’

Burton and Bransgore Medical Centres and The Orchard Surgery will become one practice known as Christchurch Medical Centre.

The practices said they were ‘exceptionally busy’ adding ‘the ever increased demand on GP time does not diminish.’

It comes after Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association’s GP committee yesterday called for an increase of NHS funding to adequate levels at a speech to the national conference of Local Medical Committees, which represents grassroots GPs. He highlighted ‘mounting workloads and staff shortages’ and told how general practice is on the ‘brink of collapse’ saying surgeries are ‘frighteningly vulnerable’.

It is expected the merger in Dorset will be in place by October.

Dorset CCG said the merger will allow both practices to ‘make the best of existing resources’ and ‘give flexibility to staff and patients.’

A statement from the practices read: “This merger will enable these two excellent surgeries to enhance their services for all our patients in Christchurch, Burton and Bransgore areas. In this current climate smaller surgeries are not sustainable and merging will allow us to become more robust with a larger number and more variety of highly skilled staff who will be able to serve our patient needs more efficiently and effectively in safe familiar environments.

“It is the intention to retain all three existing surgeries and keep them fully operational.”

Burton Medical Centre, at Salisbury Road, Burton, Bransgore Medical Centre, Ringwood Road, Bransgore and The Orchard Surgery at the Christchurch Medical Centre at Purewell Cross will all operate from their existing sites.

Patient events about the plans will take place on Tuesday, June 13 at 2.30pm and 7pm at The United Reform Church, Burton Green.