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Merger FAQ

Alongside our patient engagement, the following questions and answers have been prepared to assist all patients of Wentworth Medical Practice and Derwent Medical Practice.

As our plans develop further and following a series of patient engagement events, we will continually refresh, update, and add to these.

 Q1 When will the merge to the new Practice take place?

 It is anticipated that the merge will take place by 1st July 2023 subject to all regulatory approvals and following extensive engagement with patients and all the staff who are employed by both GP Practices.

 Q2 Will I still be able to make an appointment to see my usual doctor or nurse?

 Yes. We very much value all the one-to-one relationships our patients have with our doctors and nurses. It is therefore expected that merging practices will further increase our ability to provide you with continuity of care and access to your usual doctor and/or nurse. We also expect to be able to reduce the need for locum doctors and provide you with a greater number of highly skilled local doctors and nurses if your usual doctor or nurse is absent from work. We will be running specialist joint injection, Menopause and Family Planning clinics for patients.

 Q3 Will I still be able to make appointments at my usual doctor’s surgery?

Yes. We will continue to provide daily appointments to see doctors, nurses, physiotherapist, pharmacists and healthcare support workers. In addition to these appointments, we will also be offering e-consult a convenient way to communicate with a GP via the website. This is a really popular service where you are asked the same questions that a GP would ask in a face-to-face appointment. Your answers are reviewed by a Health care professional, and you will receive a response by the end of the next working day.

 Q4 Will my usual surgery opening times stay the same?

 Yes. Both surgeries will continue to be open from 08.00 – 18.30, so there will be no changes to our core opening times. From 1st April we hope to consolidate our extended hours opening times and appointments will be available for all patients at Wentworth medical practice in the evenings and at weekends.

 Q5 Will there be changes made to the way I book appointments?

 No. We are not currently anticipating any changes to the way you book appointments, and you will therefore continue to be able to book these in the same way as you do now. As now, we will also continue to contact all of our patients who require scheduled vaccinations, chronic disease reviews or routine screening e.g. cervical screening tests, etc...

 Q6 Will I be able to make an appointment to see a doctor and/or nurse at another GP practice site?

 From July once we have merged our IT systems, you will be able to request appointments with any doctor and/or nurse at both practice sites, therefore providing you with greater access to a wider range of services and availability. There is additional parking availably at Wentworth Medical practice for patients that are driving.

Q7 Will I have to go to another GP Practice site for consultations and/or treatments?

 No. However, if in the future we feel that being seen at the other site provides a better or more appropriate service for specific patients – for example a particular doctor at one site may specialise in COPD or diabetes – you may be asked if you would like to attend there in order to access more specialised care if this is appropriate and you choose this option.

Q8 Will any service that is currently offered by my usual surgery be removed or stopped?

No. We do not anticipate services being removed or stopped. If anything, we anticipate that this merger will bring about a greater choice of services. If the contracts against which we deliver are changed by the North Central London Integrated Care Board, we would be unable to influence these changes.

Q9 Will there be any changes to how I access the GP out of hours service.

 No. To access a GP when the practice is closed, you will still continue to telephone the NHS 111 service and they will either signpost you to the most appropriate service or arrange for you to access a GP.

Q10 Will the current arrangements that I have in place for getting my medicines stay the same?

Yes. There will be no changes will be made to existing medication.

 Q11 Will the intended merge affect any treatment or medication I am currently receiving either at my usual surgery or any hospital?

No. Any current treatments, medications or investigations will not be affected by our intentions to merge.

 Q12 Will I need to re-register to become a patient of the single GP Practice? What will happen to my health records?

 No, you will not need to re-register, and we also anticipate that you will remain registered with the same GP as you are now. All our patients will automatically be merged into a single GP Practice and your health records will reside within a single patient database. The NHS safeguards in relation to patient confidentiality of information will continue to remain in place throughout the transition.

 Q13 Will the single GP Practice be able to provide new services to patients?

 One of the main reasons to merge and form a larger practice, is for us to be able to expand the services that we can provide locally. For example, in time we hope to be able to include access to see other healthcare professionals e.g., mental health care practitioners.

Q14 How will the new arrangement benefit GPs and Nurses at the practice?

Our GPs, Nurses and Healthcare Support Workers will all have access to a wider pool of clinical knowledge and expertise to draw upon and we will have far greater opportunities to specialise in areas such as diabetes, care of the elderly, palliative care and urgent care access. We also anticipate that the current level of administrative tasks that our clinical staff perform will be dramatically reduced, therefore allowing them more time to spend on responding to and delivering the clinical care our patients need. We will also be able to better cover any planned or unplanned absences which we hope will alleviate the resulting pressures felt by remaining staff. In addition, we should also be able to reduce our reliance on expensive locum and bank staff. We also anticipate that all our staff will be provided with greater opportunities for enhanced training and career development.

Q15 Why are you merging with a practice in a different location?

 The two practices are a good fit with the same clinical system and same telephone system. The two already share clinicians. There are only 1mile between sites with good transport links, 5 minutes by car, and bus routes available too.

Q16, I have further questions I would like to ask and / or comments I would like to make. How do I do this?

 You can put these in writing for the attention of the Practice Manager at your usual surgery. We will aim to respond to any questions / comments within 10 working days of receipt.

Q17 What is the distance between the two surgeries and how can I get to Wentworth practice on local transport?

It is a 1.5 mile route from Derwent Practice to Wentworth Group Practice.    The No 125 bus takes you nearby.   In addition, there is free parking around Wentworth Practice apart from between the hours of 2-3pm.

Q18 Patient concerns raised on Patient Access

 In response to our patients concerns we are actively seeking 9 additional more GPs sessions to what we have now and have an interview on Tuesday and again the following Thursday and feel confident that both GPs being interviewed will find the practice attractive and accept positions. One of our existing GPs is also increasing their sessions which will equate to 10 extra sessions in addition to what Wentworth is providing at present.

Running the sites on the same EMIS would allow our staff across all sites to answer phones which will help with access and all patients would also have access to our triage systems and multi-disciplinary team including the additional GP sessions that soon to be in place.

We already have GPs on both the Derwent and Wentworth contracts and have merged our back-office staff which has been successful, and systems have improved.

We will as you suggest continue to ensure that this is discussed at our PPG meetings and confirm that we make patients aware we are listening to their concerns.

We hope this will help give confidence that Wentworth Medical practice are listening to our patients and making changes to improve services at both surgeries.