Merger talks begin between two doctor’s surgeries in March

Mercheford and Riverside

Mercheford and Riverside - Credit: Archant

Two doctor’s surgeries in March could join forces but only after the views of patients and staff have been gathered.

Riverside practice in Marylebone Road and Mercheford House in Elwyn Road have started talks about merging.

The news comes amid NHS figures which show growing pressures on doctors with an extra two and a half million people registered at GP surgeries across England in the last four years.

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We understand that Riverside Practice and Mercheford House in March have started to have conversations about a possible merger of the two practices.

“As part of the formal application process both practices will involve their patients so that they will be able to give their views.

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“We’d like to reassure people that the CCG and the practices are committed to providing safe, high quality care for our population.”

Riverside practice has a team of three GPs, three nurse practitioners, practice nurses and administrative staff and provide specialist management of long-term conditions and clinics covering a wide range of health care issues.

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Mercheford House has three doctors and three nurse practitioners as well as the admin team.

It has currently changed its telephone system to cope with the demand of calls and to let patients get through to the correct staff more quickly.

Both surgeries have patient participation groups to promote health and improved quality of care.

The British Medical Association said: “Merging may offer several benefits which include sustainability in providing services, economies of scale through the ability to increase the volume and type of services offered to patients and a greater chance of successfully bidding for contracts.”

A merger could also mean bulk buying to reduce costs, the ability to share facilities, premises and also sharing administrative work.

The BMA warns that the down side could be poor planning leading to a breakdown in relationships and? individual GPs having less influence in decision making.

All merger applications have to be approved by NHS England and the Care Quality Commission.

• Figures from NHS Digital show that in 2017 there were 58,492,541 people registered at GP practices compared to 56,065,015 in 2013.

A difference of 2,427,526 more patients.

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