Southsea doctors surgeries to merge in order to prevent closures – and this is what it means for patients

TWO GP practices are set to merge this summer in order to save one from potential closure.

Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 5:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th May 2019, 6:27 pm
The Devonshire Practice in Portsmouth Picture: Google

Southsea Medical Centre and The Devonshire Practice will be known as The Lighthouse Group Practice from July 1 with both sites remaining open.

A report that went to the CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee stated that problems of GP recruitment and retention had contributed to putting the Devonshire Practice ‘at risk of closure.’

Read More

Read More
Fareham baby nearly ‘starved to death’ because of rare condition

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

It is hoped the merger will safeguard the future for the combined 13,500 patients and will provide more opportunities to develop cost-effective and high-quality services.

The new practice group is aiming to provide improved same-day access for its patients, modern facilities and a more attractive workplace to help staff recruitment

Dr Gayle Catterall, a GP at Southsea Medical Centre, said: ‘This merger offers us really exciting opportunities, including plans for a long-term conditions nursing team and to improve our GP-led telephone triage system across both sites – which will safely manage same-day demand, ensuring patients are seen based on their need.

‘We will also have our own pharmacist to help improve our repeat prescribing processes to improve services to patients.’

Dr Catherine Causer, a GP at Devonshire Practice, said: ‘The new Lighthouse Group Practice is also planning several improvements to the existing administrative systems which will help GPs manage their ever-increasing levels of paperwork, freeing up more of their time for appointments.

‘A new telephone system will further improve patient access to our services.’

The merger is the latest across the county and comes at a time of huge demand on GP services.

Last month three surgeries in Fareham signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ (MOU) and will together work under the name Sovereign Healthcare in order to pool resources, improve services for patients and increase GP and nurse recruitment and retention levels.

Whiteley Surgery; the Jubilee Surgery, Titchfield; and the Highlands Practice at Fareham will retain individual practice names.

Dr Ian Bell, of Lee Medical Practice, said the move was a response to growing pressures and would help sustainability of the services.