JUSTIN Tomlinson MP has hit back at claims to ‘step up’ over the IMH debacle by the Labour prospective candidate Kate Linnegar.

The candidate challenged the MP to intervene to do more to help patients struggling to get appointments at five IMH-run surgeries in North Swindon.

Mr Tomlinson responded to the claims saying they were “untrue and unhelpful” and that he was in almost daily contact with the CCG and IMH to rectify the issues to help patients in his constituency.

“We all agree that the transition process [to merge the surgeries into one hub] was fundamentally flawed, mainly because it was rushed, it was not trialled and crucially, the communication was non-existent.

“After lots of frank discussions, steps were taken to address concerns,” he said, “However, this month I am very frustrated to see that some of the old complaints regarding long waits on the telephone lines are back.

“I have been doing absolutely everything within my power to ensure that these issues are resolved. 

He added: “It is disappointing to see the Labour Party candidate try to use this issue as a way to score political points, especially when there is agreement on all sides that improvements must be made.

"I will continue to listen to patients, raise their concerns directly and push for much-needed improvements."