Merger and New Building Update
From previous Newsletters/communications you already know about a) the new Clinic and b) the merger of Green Street and Enys Road and now we have the welcome addition of Bolton Road
Why do you need to merge?
There have been many stories in the media recently about the fact that GP Practices are very pressed at the moment – facing increased demands with limited NHS resources – these are broadly true. What the public want and need from a GP Practice has changed significantly over the last 20 years. There is a national shortage of GPs and Practice Nurses and some practices are really struggling.
In the face of these challenges, most Practices now understand that they need to evolve in order to survive – but in doing so not lose the good parts of the existing services in the process. The three GP practices, Green Street, Enys Road and Bolton Road are trying to deal with these issues by sharing resources and working in new ways in order to preserve or improve the good service patients deserve.
Historically all Practices perform well in respect of patient outcomes.
The combined practice will be stronger, more resilient and better placed to attract new staff to replace retiring Doctors and Nurses. We think that together we will be able to offer better services and will be able to not only survive, but flourish. Without a merger we doubt that all three practices would remain viable in their present form, and that closure might be the eventual result.
The most important things to maintain from our current services are:
- Continuity of care with your GP or nurse if you have a long-term condition, problems that require comprehensive, personalised, holistic and co-ordinated care.
- Telephone and Video consultations
- Maintaining the quality of the services we currently provide
- Your confidentiality and data security
- Remaining patient focused
- Flexibility and accessibility to clinical staff
- Fast response to urgent and same day care needs.
New services or ways of delivering services:
All three practices form a Primary Care Network, which means that your GP Practice will be leading the development for all of the local primary Care services and will be asking other services including the community hospital, district nurses, community mental health teams, health visitors / school nurses, the rehabilitation and community support services and social services to work collaboratively.
- Whenever possible, outpatient clinics will be provided in the community rather than hospital.
- Offer more preventative care.
- Better use of IT and other technology to improve access for patients.
Is there another option, other than merger?
No, not really. If all three Practices remain as they are, with retirement of GPs, the problems recruiting new staff and the demands and constraints that are on General Practice there is a real risk that any one of the Practices may have to close in the medium - term future.
Our three Practices have similar organisational cultures and achieve similar patient outcomes and have similar patient groups. The Partners from each Practice work well together and we believe that we can use this strong relationship very successfully for the long term to provide good services to our patients.
Do we have to seek approval to merge?
Yes, we have the agreement of both NHS England and the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The Practice hope to merge on 1st August 2020 but the patient lists and back office services will not merge until beginning of October 2020.
What will the merged Practice be called?
The merged practice name will be the ‘Victoria Medical Centre’.
Will any of the GP sites close?
You already know that it is the intention to move all three practices to a newly developed medical centre on Victoria Drive around spring 2021, and the work on that site is gathering pace. Until that time the three practices will remain in their usual sites.
There are already parking problems. Will this be taken in to account with the development of new premises?
Yes, and this is a key consideration for any new premises.
Will I be still be able to see the GP or Nurse I am used to?
Yes - individual patients will still be able to access the GP or Nurse they prefer.
What about disabled access?
The new building has been designed to ensure the building regulations are all in place and satisfied, part of these regulations is to ensure there is the correct and adequate disabled access to the building.
How will I be able to make an appointment?
You will be able to make appointments in person, by phone, online using a password (need to be signed up to use this service) or by using Engage Consult (this can be accessed by any patient). Login information can be found on the practice websites. We would really encourage our patients to use Engage Consult especially for minor ailments where useful health advice is offered but with the option of requesting an appointment if you are advised to at the end of the advisory process. All sites also offer LIVI that can be downloaded as an app and offers video appointments with a NHS GP when the practices are closed.
Will the opening times of the merged Practice be different?
No – for the medium term we plan to keep the same opening times.
Will there be a new telephone number to contact the practice?
Initially the contact telephone numbers will remain. The Practices will at some point be using the same telephone system, so in theory each Practice site could answer the other Practice site calls. As all three practices will eventually be based in one building there will be at some point one new number. We will advise of this nearer the time.
Will you still offer the same services?
Yes, – we plan to continue most of the current services; such as home visits, immunisations, screening tests, minor surgery, managing long term conditions, research, and everything else. We believe that as a bigger more sustainable practice we will be able to recruit and retain staff better – and be better able to develop new services for patients in the future.
New information regarding the Merger and Victoria Medical Centre will be posted here.
HAVE YOUR SAY......Our new patient survey is here. We would like to get your views on the future of your new practice - VICTORIA MEDICAL PRACTICE. Please help us by completing the survey here. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FTRLRV7
Results of our survey will be posted here as soon as they are available