Plans to merge Portsmouth GP surgeries will lead to a 'bright future' says city health chiefs

HEALTH leaders in Portsmouth have insisted plans to merge two GP surgeries will lead to a ‘bright future’ for medical provision in the city.

By Tom Cotterill
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 7:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 10:34 pm

Lake Road Practice and Sunnyside Medical Centre will unite later this year in a new deal to pool clinical expertise and resources across both sites.

An application has been submitted to Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group. If approved the merger is expected to take place in October.

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Lake Road Practice and Sunnyside Medical Centre have announced plans to merge later in the year. Photo is a stock image of a GP in action. Picture: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire

The practices, at Lake Road Health Centre and The Pompey Centre respectively, are already connected under the Island City Primary Care Network serving 47,000 people.

Dr Joe Shimbart, of Lake Road Practice, was ‘hugely excited’ by the plan and said: ‘This is great news for patients and means that we can continue to provide primary care medical services for this and future generations.’

Dr Jonathan Lake, of Sunnyside Medical Practice, added: ‘As a successful practice we wanted to ensure the continuity of services for our patients.

‘By merging Lake Road Practice and Sunnyside Medical Practice, we are far more certain of a bright future and this is a great thing for those we serve.

Dr Joe Shimbart from Lake Road Practice was ‘hugely excited’ by the plan

‘We see this proposed merger as an opportunity to expand the range of services we can offer the people of Portsmouth. This will ensure we have a solid base of general practice in the area for years to come.

‘By working closely we can sustain our services for our patients, and by pooling our clinical skills and resources will enable us to offer improved high-quality services and ultimately improve access to those services.’

All three sites associated with the practices will remain open, which includes the John Pounds premises, and patients will not notice any change in terms of their registration.

Roger Batterbury, chairman of Healthwatch Portsmouth – which represents patients in the city – said the move made ‘good sense’ and would ‘benefit patients’, giving them ‘stability for the future, rather than facing the prospect of their surgery closing’.

But he added: ‘We will watch the situation with great interest and will monitor how this merger proceeds.’

Patients will continue to be seen at their usual location and will also be able to access services from the practice’s other sites where appropriate.