PLANS for 'superclinics' in places such as Hounslow and Feltham would threaten the future of smaller GP surgeries nearby, it is claimed.

Mutinous doctors from the borough are joining with their colleagues from Ealing and Hammersmith to oppose the changes proposed by Healthcare for London.

"We're extremely concerned about the move towards big, combined clinics where dozens of GPs work on a shift basis," said Cranford doctor Alick Munro.

"Not only will they mean increased travel for many patients but the chances of ever seeing the same GP more than once will become very slim.

"Longer opening hours at the polyclinics could benefit working people but if small, local surgeries close vulnerable patients will be much more likely to fall through the net."

They claim many patients were unaware of a recent consultation which came out in favour of so-called polyclinics, which would combine numerous GP surgeries under one roof alongside other services such as antenatal care and physiotherapy.

As a result of that consultation, Hounslow Primary Care Trust (PCT) has applied to be part of the polyclinic development programme.

And local GPs now believe they are planning to create polyclinics at the Heart of Hounslow facility, in Bath Road; The Centre, in Feltham High Street and a third site, which has yet to be decided.

Dr Munro, a member of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow Local Medical Committee (EHHLMC), says Hounslow's GPs are banding together to oppose the new scheme.

If it does go ahead they intend to bid for the contract to run the new clinics and use them to offer only the non-GP services.

Together with Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham doctors, they are asking for patients' support through a petition and poster campaign demanding the Government "Keep my NHS GP local".

Dr Adam Jenkins, chair of EHHLMC, said: "Our experience suggests that patients like having a neighbourhood surgery close to their homes, with doctors and nurses that know them.

"I encourage all GPs, practice teams and patients to work together to keep their NHS GP surgery local."

A spokeswoman for Hounslow PCT said its application to join the polyclinic development programme had been accepted.

She added: "NHS London will review the project and consider whether the model should be pursued. If so, it will identify those PCTs who are well placed to be the early implementers of the polyclinic service model.

"The PCT plans to produce a Primary Care and Community Services Strategy by the autumn."