Portsmouth City Council plans to stop closure of doctors' surgeries after Hanway Medical Group GP practice proposes merger with Portsdown Group

COUNCIL bosses have vowed to stop the closure of doctors’ surgeries in the city after plans for another surgery merger was announced.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 5:36 pm
Updated Monday, 6th January 2020, 7:02 pm

Leader of Portsmouth City Council Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson has proposed a motion for opposing closures of surgeries in Portsmouth following the announcement of plans to merge Hanway Medical Practice with the Portsdown Group Practice.

Hanway Medical Practice, which is in Hanway Road, Buckland, and also has a surgery in Stubbington Avenue, North End, revealed the news today as a way to secure its future for its 14,000 patients as two senior GPs are set to retire this year.

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GP Hanway Medical Centre, no 2 Hanway Road, Portsmouth

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Hanway Medical Group GP practice in Buckland and North End is set to merge with ...

The motion, seconded by cabinet member for health, wellbeing and social care Councillor Matthew Winnington, includes investigating ways in which the City Council can invest in health centres and provide backroom services.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘I want the council to look at where we can provide all the services of a surgery so GPs can just be GPs.

‘At the moment self-employed GPs buy into practices but I think now many don’t want the responsibility so if we can provide the building, and I think we can put one in Chaucer House, then hopefully this would help us recruit more GPs in our area.’

The Hanway merger is proposed to take place from May 1, 2020, and would need to be approved by NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, 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.’

Patients have taken to The News Facebook page to express their views.

Sophie Gasson said: ‘I don’t see how a merger will help as there will still be two fewer GPs in the city. It is hard enough to get an appointment at Hanway Road as it is. There are not enough GPs anywhere.’

Patricia Franklin added: ‘I have been with Hanway for years and my family don't want to go anywhere else. The government needs to to look into this.’

Ward councillor Claire Udy told The News: ‘I am against it because this will mean people having to see doctors they don’t know and it may mean travelling across the city when they are ill.

‘I have never heard of a model like the one Cllr Vernon-Jackson is proposing but I think it is a brilliant idea.’

Meetings about the plans 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.