TWO GP practices merging could be the start of solving the problem of getting a doctors’ appointment in Portsmouth.
Drayton Surgery, in Havant Road, has around 13,500 patients registered, while Wootton Street Surgery, in Cosham, has 4,500.
We think the merger will be great news for all of our patientsDr Nick O’Rourke
With a national shortage of GPs and the two practices only 1.3 miles apart, it is hoped the merger will provide improved services, as there will be more GP cover, extra support and two sites for patients to go to for an appointment.
The move, which is due to take place in October, is being supported by the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group.
Drayton Surgery managing partner Dr Nick O’Rourke said: ‘We think the merger will be great news for all our patients in terms of increasing access to a range of services and widening our pool of clinical expertise.
‘And for Wootton Street patients in particular, it will increase the times when they have access to GPs and services.’
A number of other advantages of the move for patients, GPs and staff, include:
n Patients can choose which site to attend – offering reduced travelling for some.
n Merger would reduce the levels of administration and management for the practices.
n The installation of new IT and phone services which will be linked at both practices to improve efficiency.
n Offering patients greater choice over which clinician they wish to see – there is only one male GP at Wootton Street.
n Cosham patients will be able to access blood services at Drayton.
n Wootton Street patients will also be able to access a wider range of extended opening hours, such as the early morning, late evenings and Saturday sessions offered at Drayton.
n The clinicians will have access to an increased knowledge base and greater mix of skills, which will benefit patients.
Healthwatch Portsmouth, a patient watchdog group, said the merger is a sign of a change in primary care.
Manager Carol Elliott said: ‘There is a problem nationally in bringing new GPs in and that puts current doctors under pressure.
‘Any patients from either of the practices can come to us with comments.’