Practice merger in April 2018 and cessation of services from College Yard by April 2019 to go ahead
- The merger has been approved and will take place in April 2018
- The Closure of the College Yard site has been approved and will take place by April 2019
- No patients will be asked to leave the practice
- All patients will be able to attend Highnam or Cheltenham Road
- Our new practice area will be the combined areas for College Yard and Highnam and Cheltenham Road surgeries
- Staff working at College Yard will work either at Highnam or Cheltenham Road
- Dr Miller will see patients at both Highnam and Cheltenham Road
- The new merged practice will have a new name, yet to be decided
- We will develop a new website for the merged practice
For more information please see our Newsletter
Please click here for information on the College Yard Patient consultation
We would like to announce some changes we are proposing in order to create a stronger, more resilient practice and secure primary care services for our patients into the future.
As you will be aware, Dr Simon Smith has left the practice, and despite an intensive recruitment campaign, a replacement partner has not been found. This has left the practice in a vulnerable position, as while the practice has salaried GP cover for clinical sessions, Dr Miller is now alone in holding our NHS contract and responsibility for the practice. This is not a sustainable situation and it is risky to have the practice dependant on one individual for its survival. We also need to look ahead to how the practice can continue once Dr Miller retires in a few years’ time.
Over the last few months, we have been talking to the GPs and staff from Cheltenham Road Surgery in Gloucester about merging our two practices together. During these discussions it became clear that Cheltenham Road Surgery shares the same approach to patient care as we do. We have reached the conclusion that a merger would be a very exciting development and believe it would not only secure the future of the practice, but also enable us to offer a better service to all our patients. Therefore, we have put forward an application to merge with them in April 2018.
Closure of College Yard
Looking ahead to how we would provide services in the future following the merger, we believe it would not be practical to manage and staff three surgery sites. After considerable thought, we have reached the conclusion that we would need to stop offering services from the College Yard site. We do not yet have a firm date for the proposed closure, but we expect to do this within the next three years. This would allow time for a smooth transition for our patients.
This does not mean that any anyone registered with us would be removed from our patient list, nor would we stop registering patients in the area around the College Yard site.
What we are proposing is that a new, combined practice boundary would be drawn to include the entire area currently covered by College Yard and Highnam Surgery together with that covered by Cheltenham Road Surgery. You would be able to attend either site as best suits you.
The proposed new, combined practice would have one patient list and a new name – we would be very happy to receive your suggestions for this.
Benefits for patients
By merging with Cheltenham Road Surgery and then offering services from both Highnam and Cheltenham Road, we would be able to:
- Offer a greater range of services to patients
- Create a wider range of skills and expertise in the practice, with more secure staffing levels
- Provide greater choice of appointments
- Make better use of staff time
- Use our resources more flexibly to meet patient demand
Patient Participation Group
We have discussed our plans with our Patient Participation Group (PPG), made up of a small number of patients registered with the practice. We are grateful to them for their help in drafting this communication, helping us with ideas about what is important from a patient perspective.
Top of the PPG’s list of concerns was travelling to appointments. We know that getting to and from a surgery is a key consideration for many patients. Patients registered with us would in future be able to attend appointments either at our Highnam site or at Cheltenham Road. For those reliant on public transport, the number 94 bus goes between the central bus station and Cheltenham Road every 10 minutes Click here for a link to a map. Other buses go from the city centre to the area around Cheltenham Road Surgery.
It is clear to us that this proposal, if agreed by the relevant NHS authorities, will secure the provision of primary care services for all our registered patients into the future.
Thank you to all our patients who completed the survey. Will will look at each response and share our findings with the Patient Participation Group.
It is our intention to keep you up to date with progress through posters in our waiting room, our newsletter and regular bulletins here on our website.
Thank you for your support for the practice in recent, challenging times; together with our team we are looking forward to this new chapter in the practice’s life and, subject to agreement, to working with our new colleagues from Cheltenham Road Surgery next year.
A version of this text has been sent as a letter to a representative sample of patients registered at College Yard, together with a paper copy of the survey. It would help us if as many patients as possible could complete this online.
Additionally, we have created a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. Please have a read of that and if your any questions you have are not addressed there please email your query to email@example.com
Dr Helen Miller