A THURROCK MP has warned against extending the hours of surgeries amid fears smaller practices may fold under the pressure.

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, revealed his concerns after speaking with doctors on a visit to The Surgery, in Horndon-on-the-Hill, as part of a scheme which encourages MPs to see the challenges facing general practice.

Mr Metcalfe said: “During the meeting, Dr Pattara and Dr Raja expressed concerns about proposals to open surgeries from 8am to 8pm.

“I am very conscious of the fact that these proposals need to consider small practices such as this one and as such, I have written to the Department for Health to ask how the needs of smaller practices will be incorporated.”

“We had an extremely useful exchange at The Surgery and I was delighted to hear the patient participation group singing the praises of the GPs and staff. It was extremely informative to get the perspective of both patients and medical practitioners and I look forward to my continued engagement with them.”