THOUSANDS of patients at GP practices in Portsmouth are set to see improved waiting times for appointments, as well as overall service improvements, after two practices officially joined forces.
Southsea Medical Centre and The Devonshire Practice officially merged on Monday after plans were announced in the spring to connect the two practices.
Serving more than 13,500 patients between them, both practices will remain open, with patients able to make appointments at either surgery.
The merger was announced last May, before being approved by the Portsmouth CCG, which plans primary care services across the city.
It comes after a number of patients experienced problems with appointment times at The Devonshire Practice.
Managing partner Andrew Clarke said: ‘We strongly believe that by becoming a single practice, and pooling our clinical skills and staffing resources, that we will be able to offer improved high-quality services and good access to those services.
‘It will also help us to offer our patients much more robust cover during times of staff holiday leave or sickness, and patients can be seen at whichever site is more convenient to them.’
The combined practice aims to provide more modern facilities, an in-house pharmacist and an improved telephone triage system, among other changes.
Access hours for the healthcare assistant, nurse prescriber clinic and and GP and nurse prescriber have also been extended by the practices.