DOCTORS have pledged it will be business as usual as they take over two additional surgeries in Blackburn.

Patients have been told that the partners at Primrose Bank Medical Centre are assuming control of practices in Larkhill and Ewood.

The move is set to the closure of the branch surgery at 461 Bolton Road, Ewood, at the end of this month.

But the GPs say Ewood Medical Centre, at 431-22 Bolton Road, recently refurbished and larger premises, will be better equipped to cater for the public’s needs.

In a letter to patients, Dr Ramesh Rautray, and partners Drs Sundeep Ray and Paresh Mashar, said: “As you will be aware, this surgery is currently only open two mornings per week.

“We believe the branch surgery is no longer suitable for providing the services our patients need and deserve, and that Ewood Medical Centre will be a much more suitable venue as it is a bigger and recently refurbished venue and is open from 8am to 6.30pm daily.”

The branch surgery is already advertised as being closed for three Fridays this month, on November 15, 22 and 29.

Dr Rautray and the partners added: “We would like to assure you that the doctors and staff of the practice will continue to provide you with high quality care, and to provide full services from either our main surgery at Primrose Bank or Ewood Medical Centre.”

Public consultations took place over the move through October and the closure has to be ratified by NHS England.

The proposals are part of a determined drive to phase out some of the town’s older and smaller surgeries, many of them located in converted Victorian or Edwardian houses.

Blueprints have been drawn up for a new super-surgery to serve the west of Blackburn, which would be housed in the grade II listed Griffin House, last used as a museum in 2006.

Each of the three medical practices which would be affected - Limefield, Witton and Redlam - are in converted houses.

Supporters say that the existing surgeries are no longer considered fit for purpose and already operate at full capacity, with no expansion space for patients or staff.

Doctors there are said to be keen to expand their specialisms but are currently held back by lack of space.

Similar proposals for a super-surgery in north Blackburn are understood to be on hold.