FOUR GP practices that have been working together on pilot schemes will be merging.
Brune Medical Centre; Forton Medical Centre; Stoke Road Medical Centre and Waterside Medical Centre, which are all in Gosport, will create The Willow Group.
It will not only improve access to care for our residents but also the range of care we can deliver.Dr Stuart Morgan
The move comes following collaborative work among the four surgeries as part of the Better Local Care programme.
All four practices are already involved in successful joint initiatives such as the same-day access service at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital, which offers patients same-day appointments with a range of clinicians, and signposting to other services in the town.
They also run child health clinics for new mums which provide an opportunity to see a health visitor, the GP and the practice nurse all in the same morning.
Dr Stuart Morgan, a GP and the group’s clinical lead, said merging the practices will help improve care for patients.
‘Over the past 18 months, the difficult situation in Gosport has led to GPs working together more closely, both in partnership with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust as well as on Better Local Care pilots for the benefit of patients,’ he said.
‘We strongly believe that by working as one organisation we will improve resilience to the capacity challenges we’re experiencing.
‘It will not only improve access to care for our residents but also the range of care we can deliver.’
There are currently no planned changes to services for patients.
Initially, patients will remain registered with their own surgery but will benefit from increased access to other sites and their respective specialisms.
The merger comes as falling GP numbers and a lack of replacement GPs has led to many Gosport practices reaching crisis point.
Brune Medical Centre and Forton Medical Centre have been in partnership with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust since last year and Waterside Medical Centre and Stoke Road Medical Centre are set to do the same in April.
The merger will start from April too.