Medical centres set to join forces

December 20 2017

TWO GP practices in Downend are planning to merge in April this year.

TWO GP practices in Downend are planning to merge in April this year.

Willow Surgery and Christchurch Medical Centre will form a new organisation called Downend Health Group.

In a letter to patients, the surgeries say they have worked side by side for many years to provide services to the local community and now think joining forces is the best way forward “to manage the increasing pressure and demands experienced within primary care”.

“Continuity of care is very important to us. The high quality medical care that we already deliver will not change. However, by merging we will be in a position to expand our services and diversify what we are able to offer our patients.”

The new organisation will bring increased training and career opportunities for doctors, medical students and other health professionals, the surgeries say.

Patients have been invited to give their views, voicing any concerns and suggesting possible improvements to the team of doctors and practice managers who are leading the merger.

Two other local practices, Leap Valley Surgery and Emersons Green Medical Centre, have announced their own merger.

In Bristol, two practices - Charlotte Keel Medical Practice in Easton and Bishopston Medical are handing back their contracts to the NHS because of funding changes. Charlotte Keel told patients that it would not be able to provide “a fair and adequate service to patients” under the new arrangements from April 2018.