DOCTORS’ surgeries across Swindon have seen applications from would-be patients swell, as NHS chiefs tackle problems left by GP supergroup IMH.

The chairman of one surgery’s patient participation group said her practice had seen “loads” of new applications from people wanting to register as patients, while the manager of a group of GP practices said applications had risen by around four per cent.

Swindon NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, the body responsible for overseeing GP care in the town, has urged IMH patients to stick with their current surgeries.

Manchester-based company IMH, which had been responsible for five Swindon practices, withdrew from the town last month after months of complaints from patients, commissioners and the regulator over difficulties booking appointments and poor leadership. In May, the Adver revealed that all three GP partners at Moredon Medical Centre – one of the five surgeries linked to IMH – would resign in June. A new GP is being employed at the practice.

Jo Garton, chairman of the Old Town Surgery patient participation group, said the fallout from the issues at IMH was being felt by other GPs.

“We’ve had loads of people from the surgeries that are managed by IMH wanting to join our surgeries – as have many other surgeries in the town,” she told the BBC.

“They all want to leave because they’ve had such a terrible experience. We can’t take anymore.”

Old Town Surgery is linked to the Wyvern Health Partnership, now one of three primary care networks in Swindon. The networks are responsible for back office functions and often employ specialists, like physiotherapists, who work across practices.

Mark Hopkins of the Wyvern Health Partnership said: “Some of our practices have seen an increase in patients list sizes since the start of the year of between three and four per cent, although there are many reasons for patients registering at our practices including new housing developments and residents moving area.”

He added: “Following confirmation from Swindon CCG that IMH are withdrawing from its operations in Swindon, we will work closely with the CCG to support primary care in Swindon, and would encourage patients needing medical help or assistance to contact their existing surgery.

“While it is fully understandable that some people may now be looking to register with another practice, we would urge patients to remain where they are while the CCG works to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

In an open letter to patients last week, Nikki Millin of Swindon CCG said: “As a CCG, it is important that demand for primary care across Swindon remains balanced and other practices – all of which are equally busy – are not put under added pressure.”