An MP says health bosses need to “put patients first” ahead of a crunch meeting which could see a decision made on a new super-surgery.

Priti Patel is set to meet with members of the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and GPs on Friday in an effort to progress plans for multi-purpose health care facilities in Witham.

Ms Patel has long campaigned for the new medical centre and will urge those involved with the scheme to press ahead with plans amid concerns it may not happen.

She said: “There is widespread support locally for this project and I remain concerned and disappointed that local GPs who previously expressed support for the proposals are now backtracking.

“The development of a new health centre will help to ease growing pressures on primary and community care and will provide patients with better access to their GPs, high quality services and greater integration of health and social care.

“The needs of patients need to be put first and I am meeting with Mid Essex CCG and GPs later this month to press for an urgent decision to be reached.”

A super-surgery would likely become home to most, if not all, GP practices in Witham once built.

Back in 2017, it was revealed Newlands Shopping Centre was the preferred location for the health centre. Though discussions have taken place for several years, no formal business plan has been drawn up for the surgery.

Dr Anna Davey, chair of Mid Essex CCG, says the group welcomes the latest round of talks with Ms Patel and is confident a super-surgery will be built.

She added: “The current proposal is to deliver the new premises in phases, allowing partners at all the local GP practices to review their options, develop new ways to offer patient care and support training opportunities.

“That training should help in recruiting and retaining more healthcare professionals in our area, a principal aim of bringing the new facility to Witham. It will also align to the need for GP-led services in the town and surrounding area as a result of housing growth.

“We feel this is a really positive step forward in developing sustainable healthcare facilities for the residents of Witham.”