Proposed GP Practice Merger
The Thorpe Bay GP Surgery would like to merge with The Shaftesbury Avenue GP Surgery.
By working together as one practice, we believe this will help us to provide improved access and clinical care. We have been working together sharing our values and commitment to high quality clinical care over the past 5-6 years.
The 'new' GP practice would still have the same surgeries, same doctors - pooling their management and clinical teams would offer greater resilience and deliver a wider set of innovative services. We would like to hear what you think about this proposal.
Location of our GP surgeries:
- Thorpe Bay Surgery – 99 Tyrone Road, Thorpe Bay, Essex SS1 3HD
- The Shaftesbury Avenue Surgery – 119 Shaftesbury Avenue, Thorpe Bay, Essex SS1 3AN
What is the patient consultation about?
We want to listen to your views about the proposed merger of the GP Practices listed above. We want to understand any concerns that you may have and address them before a decision is made.
How will we make sure we capture as many views as possible?
We plan to consult with patients in a variety of ways: Text message link to an online survey; a face to face drop in session at 162 Norton Place, Ness Road, Shoeburyness SS3 9DL on 25th February between 3pm and 7pm; hardcopy consultation questionnaire forms available at each surgery reception desk; posters in the waiting rooms; and details on our website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1 When will the potential merge to the new Practice take place?
It is anticipated that the potential merge will take place by 29th March 2022 subject to all regulatory approvals and following a period of extensive engagement with patients and all of the staff who are employed by both of the 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 of 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, in the event that your usual doctor or nurse is absent from work.
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 and healthcare support workers; via face to face, telephone and video consultations.
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.
Patients registered at both surgeries will still be able to book appointments to see an out-of-hours GP or nurse over the weekend.
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?
If our application to merge is successful, we hope that from April 2022, once our IT
systems have merged, you will still be able to book routine appointments at your
registered practice, however if it is appropriate you may be offered appointments at
the other site.
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.
In the event that the contracts against which we deliver services are changed, 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. In order 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. You will continue to request your medications in the usual way.
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.
Upon merging, all of our patients would automatically be merged into a single GP Practice and your health records would 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 are able to provide locally. For example, in time we hope to be able to include access to see other healthcare professionals e.g. Pharmacists for medication reviews, etc. you will still also have access to all the services currently provided by the Southend East Primary Care Network (PCN).
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. Thorpe Bay as a training practice, also means that there is potential for additional clinical staff once GP registrars have completed their training.
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 of our staff will be provided with greater opportunities for enhanced training and career development.
Q15 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