Three Fareham GP practices will now work together under the umbrella of one name – and this is what it means for patients
IMPROVED access to services, staff shortages being covered more efficiently and better GP and nurse recruitment and retention are just some of the benefits hoped to be achieved thanks to a new partnership between three GP practices.
Whiteley Surgery; the Jubilee Surgery, Titchfield; and the Highlands Practice at Fareham have signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ (MOU) and will together work under the name Sovereign Healthcare – although they will retain their individual practice names.
All three buildings will remain open and for its combined 40,000 patients it will be ‘business as usual’, but it hoped the new arrangements should offer improved health outcomes through better access to services and focus on prevention.
In a joint statement, GP partners for the three practices said: ‘We are not planning to merge – each practice wants to retain its own identity in its own community. We serve three completely different areas, so we feel this is the best way forward for us.
‘But the MOU will mean that we work even more closely together, and our three practices have for the last 18 or so months pooled our resources to effectively provide both the very successful Same Day Access Service and the Home Visiting Service, which are both run from Fareham Community Hospital.
‘We see this as a natural progression. It will help improve our long-term sustainability and resilience at a time of great pressures on the NHS in general and primary care and GP practices in particular.
‘We believe it is good news for our staff and very good news for our patients, who we are confident will see a number of improvements over time.’
Other benefits include shared support working will mean the practices can better cover staff shortages in times of pressure and therefore maintaining services and appointments.
The introduction of specialist management roles will also make the practices more attractive to work for, leading to improved GP and nurse retention and recruitment – both major national issues for the NHS.