A DOCTOR praised with helping secure tens of millions of pounds worth of extra funding for medical care in the town died over the weekend.

Chairman of Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Peter Crouch passed away on Saturday, having working in the town for more than 25 years, becoming the managing partner of one of the town’s largest practices - Taw Hill Medical Practice.

“Peter was elected as Clinical Chair for the CCG in 2012 and combined general practice with chairing the NHS Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group,” a CCG spokesman said.

“In addition to serving as clinical chair of the CCG, Peter was the vice-chair of the Swindon Health and Wellbeing Board and nationally he contributed to the work of the National Finance Allocation Steering and NHS Assembly Finance Working Groups.

“Our condolences are with Peter's family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.”

Dr Peter Swinyard also paid tribute, saying he had been “shocked and deeply saddened by the premature death of Dr Peter Crouch”.

“He was a gifted leader of GPs who had a vision for the health care of Swindon and the tenacity to fight for the funding we need to deliver the best services we can to patients,” he said.

“He was passionate in his support of general practice in Swindon and was respected on the national stage as a leader of the profession.

“Without him, Swindon is deprived of a great talent. His patients are deprived of a very gifted doctor.

“My sympathy and thoughts are with his widow and with his medical partner, Dr June Morris and his practice team and the team he led at Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group, on behalf of myself and the Family Doctor Association.”

The town’s two MPs Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson have also paid tribute to him.

In a joint statement they said: “"For the past six years, we have worked closely with Peter in his role as a local GP, running a large and successful practice in Swindon and then as Clinical Chair of Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group.

“Peter’s energy, commitment and enthusiasm for local health provision was infectious, and we were delighted to work with him.

"His achievements include playing a key role in ensuring that the formula for allocating Government funding for community health care became fairer for Swindon, which resulted in an increase of tens of millions of pounds for local health services in the past few years.

“We are proud to have worked with him to achieve this for residents.

“In recent months, Peter’s hard work to help support local GP practices by improving partnership working and his tireless attempts to make sure that Swindon got the support it deserved from other parts of our NHS meant that we were in very regular contact with him.

“We are proud to have known Peter and hope that in the days to come, our community can honour his memory and ensure that his aims of improved primary and community care for Swindon residents are achieved.”

Councillor David Renard, leader of Swindon Borough Council and John Gilbert, chief executive of the council also issued a joint statement in tribute. They said: “Swindon has been very successful for a number of years at joining up health and social care services so that patients receive a seamless service.

“Peter was a staunch supporter and key architect of that work. He also worked tirelessly locally through his role as vice chair of Swindon’s Health and Wellbeing Board and on a national level, where he fought for Swindon to get the best possible funding deal for the benefit of local residents.

“We will miss him for so many reasons, not least his cheeky sense of humour.

“Swindon has lost a great champion.”