Portsmouth GP practice groups to merge
TWO groups that run GP surgeries in Portsmouth are merging in a bid to improve services.
Derby Road Group Practice, which manages surgeries in Derby Road and Copnor Road, is set to merge with Portsdown Group Practice which looks after Cosham Park Avenue Surgery, Paulsgrove Surgery, Kingston Crescent Surgery, Somerstown Surgery and Heyward Road Surgery in Southsea.
Although no closures are planned Dr Andrew Richardson, from Derby Road Group Practice, has warned the Derby Road site ‘may close some time in the future’.
The merger is the latest in a number in the city as doctors pool staffing and expertise to try to meet the nationwide challenges of GP and nurse recruitment.
Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group has approved the plans.
Dr Richardson said: ‘We strongly feel the merger will be in the best interest of all registered patients.
‘They will still be able to see their usual GP or nurse, but this move will allow us to respond flexibly to any future changes that happen in the local NHS.
‘It would allow both practices to share resources and practices with a larger clinical workforce can be more flexible and responsive to patients’ needs.
‘The pooling of our clinicians, staff and resources will not only help us to maintain our existing services at Derby Road but it will also mean we can aim to improve the services we offer.
‘Derby Road will remain open, certainly for the time being – but patients have been advised that it may close some time in the future.’
Dr Richardson said if the practice was to close, the nearest is half-a-mile away at Kingston Crescent.
He added: ‘Derby Road patients would then be moving to a much more accessible and fit-for-purpose building. However, all that is still some way off.
‘We have no date as yet for Derby Road to close and we would give patients plenty of advance warning if and when that decision is made.’
The Derby Road practice held a public meeting ahead of the decision.
Other recent mergers have included practices in Southsea, Cosham and the Milton/Baffins area.