Beechcroft Surgery and Old Palace Medical Centre in Norwich to become one GP practice
- Credit: Archant
Two GP surgeries are merging together as doctors aim to steer their practices through 'these challenging times'.
Beechcroft Surgery, on Beechcroft, and Old Palace Medical Centre, on Old Palace Road, will become one practice from next month, though both surgeries will remain open in their current locations.
There are more than 6,200 patients registered across the surgeries, according to 2014 figures.
Current patients will remain registered with the practice and have access to their preferred site.
It comes at a time when GP surgeries in the city are trying to work closer together - under the 'OneNorwich' banner - to meet the challenges of the years ahead.
The merger means Beechcroft will become the main surgery, with Old Palace as a branch.
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The two surgeries are already part of a wider partnership in Norfolk called The Coastal Partnership, which includes practices in Caister-on-Sea, Wymondham, and Dereham.
Doctors say the change will 'future proof the two sites and provide for smarter working in these challenging times'.
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A spokesman said: 'Being part of a bigger practice allows us to better manage the current threats and challenges on primary care.'
They believe it gives them a greater opportunity to expand their patient registration lists.
The GPs say patients of both surgeries will have access to services between 8am-6.30pm, and extended opening hours will be offered at both sites.
Dr Steve Taylor, a partner with Coastal Practices, said: 'We think this merger will bring huge benefits to both our patients and our staff.
'It will make these two smaller practices more sustainable and enable us to continue to provide high-quality services.'
A pharmacist will work across both locations to help manage patients' medication and conditions.
The merger will allow the team to use screening programmes such as stop smoking, alcohol management services, and obesity schemes, doctors say.
A public meeting will be held on Wednesday (1pm-2pm) at the Beechcroft Surgery where more details will be presented about the changes.
GPs across the country are facing increasing pressure amid rising patient numbers and a shortage of qualified doctors.
Surgeries are also under pressure from the Department Of Health to extend their opening hours as part of the government's pledge to roll out a '7-day NHS'.
Are you a patient at one of the surgeries? Email your thoughts to email@example.com