Practice Merge – April 2017
In April 2017 we merged 2 surgeries, Almshouse Surgery & Grove Surgery to become one
Trinity Medical Centre. We became a larger practice with more clinical and
non-clincal staff to share the work.
We are merged to try and keep up to the fast moving pace of the NHS.
Small practices are slowly being closed down in favour of larger practices that can accomodate more services without sending patients to secondary care.
By merging now, we are taking control of the decision rather than being forced to do it by NHS England in a few years.
The merger was not a new topic and has been discussed amongst the practice staff for a long time. The decision was finally made early in 2016 to make it official with an 18 month engagement process for the patients.
What does this mean?
- We combined our patient list to become a practice with nearly 22000 patients. This has since increased to almost 23000
- We combined to work as 1 surgery, contracted by NHS England to provide GP services to patients. This is no different to the previous situation, we just have a single contract instead of 2 separate contracts.
- Patients will still have a choice of which GP they would like to see.
- We merged the practice boundaries and will still accept new patients within these boundaries.
- Some processes may have changed to improve them but these have very little or no impact on patient care.
- We are still looking to try and refurbish the building to accomodate the merged way of working.
- Previous Grove Surgery patients now have the option to see a GP at Sandal Castle Medical Centre. A more convenient location for some.
What has stayed the same?
- Patients are still able to see a GP or any other clinician that they choose.
- All practice staffs’ jobs are secure so patients will still see the same familiar faces.
- Patients are still able to contact Triage/Trinity Care to arrange a same-day appointment or Home Visit.
- Patients can still access online services to make appointments and prescription requests.
- We have remained a Training Practice, regularly taking on medical students and trainee GPs.
- We remain contracted by NHS England and are part of the
Trinity Health Group Federation.
- We will remain located in Trinity Medical Centre and at Sandal Castle Medical Centre.
What are the benefits?
- By becoming a larger practice we become more attractive to newly qualified GP’s and Nurses as we can offer job security. Both practices were previously struggling to recruit new clinical staff and a bigger practice will allow us to offer more benefits to both newly qualified and experienced clinicians. We now have a full GP staff quota and are above the national average Patient:GP Ratio.
- Having more clinical staff will mean we can offer more specialised services. Both GP’s and Nurses will have the opportunity to gain experience in a more specific field. This will hugely benefit patients and reduce the need to refer patients to a secondary care specialist at a hospital.
- Patients have a choice of 2 locations. GP’s will work across the 2 sites.
- Both practices already shared many policies and working procedures so there has been little impact to the daily operations.
- By pooling our staff resources we have split the workload evenly, allowing staff to focus on providing patients with the best possible service.
Both practices had active Patient Representative Groups. The decision was made early in 2016 that these groups would merge to enable both practices to best engage patients with the merger process.
The joint PPG had regular meetings scheduled to discuss not only the development of the merger but to feedback to the practices the thoughts and feelings of the wider practice population.
As part of this process we scheduled a 2 month engagement period during July and August 2016. During this period we have;
- Produced publications informing patients of the proposed merger
- Had PPG members in the waiting rooms discussing the merger with patients at every available opportunity.
- Arranged an open evening to allow patients to drop in and speak to practice staff about the merger.
- Included wider community support groups in our PPG meetings and open evening to allow them to disseminate information.
- Kept all our staff up to date so they can answer any questions that patients may have.
- Publicised the merger and events on social media.
- Sent Text Messages and Emails to patients about the open evening event.
- Included information about the proposed merger and the open evening in all our letters sent to patients.
Click the titles below to download some of the publications;
Our Patient Representative Group continues to meet regularly as a joint group and discusses the issues arising as a result of the merger on a regular basis.