HARROW PCT has refuted claims that an NHS reshuffle could result in just five GP surgeries in the borough.

The rumours began after a campaign was launched by the Local Medical Committee in Harrow (LMC), which represents all general practitioners in the area, against plans for 150 polyclinics in London.

Petitions have gone up in surgeries across Harrow to halt the scheme, which is still in its early stages.

Polyclinics are super-sized doctor's surgeries which would be fitted with equipment such as x-ray and ultrasound machines to take workload away from hospitals.

However, LMC members fear patient-doctor relationships and long-term care will be strained if the move goes ahead.

After the proposals were first discussed last month, NHS London claimed more than 51 per cent of those who responded to questionnaires favoured the idea.

However, an LMC patient survey in north west London found just one in 10 people agreed or strongly agreed with the proposals.

Dr Fergus McCloghry, chairman of Harrow LMC, and a GP in the borough, said: "The response to our patient survey has exceeded expectations and the results tell a very different story to those published by NHS London. We urge NHS London and Primary Care Trusts to listen to, and act upon, patient views.

"Our concern is primarily for our patients. How can the implementation of a polyclinic model be justified when only one in 10 of our patients are in favour of these changes?

"I believe the funding would be much better spent on developing existing surgeries, allowing them to expand their good range of current services and to network naturally, without coercion."

The move has concerned patients in Harrow, who feel they have not been informed.

Peter Carroll, 54, signed the petition at his surgery in Rayners Lane last week. He said: "When I saw the petition it was the first I knew about any plan to bring in polyclinics. It seems like a ridiculous idea. People familiarise themselves with certain doctors and trust is built up with them.

"To think that you could be treated by someone different every time you went to see a doctor seems like a strange idea, that I doubt many would favour."

A spokeswoman for Harrow Primary Care Trust said: "Claims that there will be five GPs in Harrow are nonsense. We haven't got a blueprint for plans yet and the idea is still at a consultative level."