GP surgeries form new group to provide healthcare services closer to home

Workers at Brandon Medical Centre mark the start of Suffolk Primary Care. Picture: SUFFOLK PRIMARY C

Workers at Brandon Medical Centre mark the start of Suffolk Primary Care. Picture: SUFFOLK PRIMARY CARE - Credit: Archant

GP surgeries have come together to form a new group in a bid to provide more services for patients closer to home.

The 11 surgeries, which include Brandon Medical Practice, believe that by sharing their knowledge and resources that they will be able to help all of their patients, as well as save money across the board.

Dr Tom McGonigle, executive chairman of the new Suffolk Primary Care group, said: 'It's still very early days but we're pleased with the response.

'The majority of patients recognise that this is a very positive step.

'By sharing expertise, we will collectively be able to tackle some of the challenges currently facing general practice – ensuring that patients continue to receive the high-quality healthcare they deserve.

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'We will be able to redirect resources and offer help where it is needed most. We're already seeing this happen between small groups of GP surgeries and it's made a huge difference – reducing the workload of doctors so that they have more time to spend with patients.

'Working at larger scale means we can make significant savings. For example, we've reduced accountancy costs by £90,000 by moving to a single provider, while there will be further efficiencies when it comes to insurance, clinical equipment, telephones, HR consultancy and stationery.

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'It also means that we have access to NHS funding that was previously unavailable. It's all money that can be reinvested to support surgeries and frontline services.'

Patients are also invited to join a feedback forum.

Dr McGonigle added: 'We're extremely keen for patients to have a say on where they think improvements can be made. By setting up a dedicated forum, we hope people will share their views and tell us what they think. Ideally we'd like at least one person from each surgery so that everyone is represented.'

Patients registered with a Suffolk Primary Care surgery will still be able to see the same staff in the same buildings.

Longer term, there are plans to provide more services in the community.

The goal is for a larger team involving GPs, nurse practitioners, community nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists to provide treatment for patients closer to home, avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital.

For more information about the patient forum, email

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