A merger between two of the area’s largest medical practices will boost recruitment of quality staff and lead to a better range of services for patients.
The Louth-based Newmarket Medical Practice and The Wolds Practice in Tetford near Horncastle will merge in April.
A third practice - the New Coningsby Surgery - pulled out of the merger after sole trading GP, Doctor Amos Ramon, decided not to retire.
A letter sent to patients last week confirms the merged practice will be called the ‘East Lindsey Medical Group’.
The letter is signed by Doctors David Smith, Kerry Tyreman, Neal Parkes, Rakhee Kamath and Yvonne Owen who are named as ‘Partners.’
They say the merger is the most effective way to ensure ‘a resilient future’.
The letter reveals some new staff members have been appointed ahead of the merger and that patients will continue to be the ‘number one priority.’
The partners explain the benefits of the merger will help:
•Deliver sustainable healthcare to the local community of East Lindsey;
•Protect the provision of a GP practice;
•Provide continuity of care for patients;
•Enable a flexible and adaptable resourcing model to manage increasing activities;
•Build an organisation that can respond and manage a continuously changing environment;
•Attract and retain GPs and other clinical staff;
•Increase opportunities to provide a wider range of services and access for patients.
The letter adds the merger follows an extensive patient consultation and approval from the Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The actual practice clinical systems at Newmarket and the Wolds will merge on April 18 when a single electronic patient record will come into operation.
Records will be automatically transferred to the new system.
Any patients not happy with arrangement are informed they are free to register at ‘another local GP practice’.
Paper records will continue to be stored at the site patients are currently registered at.
The letter adds the partners are hoping for a ‘smooth transition’ although the practice will close between 3,30pm on Wednesday April 18 and 10am the following day to allow computers to update. Staff will be on hand to deal with emergencies.
Patients are advised to continue using the current practice telephone numbers although a single number will be eventually be introduced.
Patients could also be seen sooner - if they are prepared to travel to either site - where they could be seen by a ‘more appropriate clinician.’
The letter concludes: “The East Lindsey Medical Group is committed to providing sustainable services and we are already increasing the clinical team to include a physiotherapist (for acute conditions), a clinical pharmacist, a counsellor and a variety of nurse specialists.
“Our patients are our number one priority; therefore, we will continue to assess the need of our local population and invest in the developments needed to care for our patient community as a whole.
“Together, we are excited about the future and the opportunities it will bring.”