NHS chiefs’ failures to announce a replacement to crisis-struck GP firm IMH has been lambasted by one campaigner as not good enough.

Samantha Wathen of Swindon Keep Our NHS Public claims she was told by Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group’s top doctor in June that it would take them four weeks to fix a new organisation to come in following the departure of IMH.

More than a month later, there has been no announcement on who will take over at the five Swindon GP surgeries once run by the Manchester-based firm.

Ms Wathen said: “It is not good enough for the clinical chairman to state publicly that there will be an announcement made on the future of local surgeries at the end of July, for us now to be told there will be no further communication until at least September, with no guarantees given even then.

“Arguably, the only reason there is to be a long-awaited public meeting in September is because a frustrated patient forced it by asserting himself at the AGM.

“Admittedly the origin of this particular shambles is not the fault of the CCG.

“However, the lack of any meaningful communication coupled with endless platitudes instead of firm action is unacceptable.

“The public have been incredibly patient but they are rightly concerned, and false assertions around eagerly awaited updates made in public meetings do the CCG’s credibility no favours.”

Responding, Swindon CCG hinted that a new provider could be confirmed imminently.

“We are currently supporting the potential new providers with the necessary due diligence work, such as site surveys, financial assurances and various quality checks, that needs to be carried out in minute detail before any contractual agreements can be made,” a spokesman said.

“Unfortunately, there is no quick way around this and, while it has taken longer than originally expected, it is absolutely essential – not least for the 50,000 or so patients who are registered with these five practices – that the work is completed thoroughly and no stone is left unturned.

“We are confident we are now in the final stages of this process and hope to be in a position to make an announcement soon, and ideally before our planned public meetings in September.”

IMH was much criticised after the introduction of a central hub last Autumn responsible for booking patients’ appointments and sorting prescriptions. It led to lengthy waits.

The Care Quality Commission has since rated all five surgeries as either inadequate or requires improvement. The company said in May it would "withdraw from its Swindon operations".