Hanway Medical Group GP practice in Buckland and North End is set to merge with Portsmouth's Portsdown Group
A MEDICAL group left at risk after two GPs announced their retirement has revealed details of a merger.
Hanway Medical Centre, which is based in Hanway Road, Buckland, and also has a surgery in Stubbington Avenue, North End is proposing to merge with the Portsdown Group Practice.
The practice announced plans for entering merger discussions in November last year in order to secure a future after news two senior GPs would retire this year.
A spokesman for Hanway told The News: ‘We have tried really hard to attract new GP partners to the practice in the last two years but have been unable to – and now we are also faced by two of our existing GPs retiring.
'Given this, we are having to consider how to sustain services to our 14,000 plus patients - and we strongly believe that a merger is the only available option to us to enable our remaining GPs to continue to serve their patients.'
When the merger was first mooted Portsmouth city councillors expressed fears over the plan, saying patients could find themselves having to travel further for appointments.
Hanway patients will get the chance to find out more information about the proposal at public meetings over the next two weeks.
The merger is proposed to take place from May 1, 2020, and would need to be approved by NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, which is not expecting to receive the application papers until March.
The medical centre has now written to patients to explain the reason for the proposed merger – a move that was delayed by the general election – however questions have been raised over the future of the branches in Hanway Road and Stubbington Avenue.
An extract from a letter to patients read: ‘Under our proposal, Hanway patients would continue to be seen by familiar faces – as we are merging the practices but there are financial constraints around the running of sites and we will be consulting with you around plans to provide care out of the existing Portsdown surgeries rather than the Hanway buildings.’
In making its decision, the CCG will need to consider if the merger is the best option for the 14,000 existing Hanway patients.
Meetings for Hanway patients only will take place at 4pm on Wednesday January 8, at St Wilfred’s Church, George Street and on Friday January 17 at Buckland Community Centre, Malins Road, starting at 6.30pm.
Portsdown Group Practice will also be holding a meeting for patients who may have questions about the impact the proposed merger could have on its services at Kingston Crescent – the closest GP surgery to Stubbington Avenue.
Kingston Crescent is halfway between Hanway Road and Stubbington Avenue – about half a mile from both.
Portsdown Group Practice has about 44,000 patients across six surgeries.