In autumn 2019 Dr Everett, the sole partner at Brickfields Surgery, decided to retire. As Dr Everett had no partner to take on the practice there was a real risk of patients being forced to change to other surgeries who were able to take them, possibly away from South Woodham Ferrers.

To avoid this process called “list dispersal”, NHS England and NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) entered into talks with neighbouring practices.

In November 2019, Kingsway Surgery agreed to take contractual responsibility for the running of Brickfields Surgery; with support from NHS England and Mid Essex CCG, this information was publicised on the Surgery website and in the local Focus magazine.

NHS England stipulated that the two practices should then endeavour to merge following an interim period of stabilisation that allowed their working practices to align.

The two practices have applied to merge, which is the start of a process which in any event should have no visible effect for patients at either practice.

We will continue to keep you updated as the merger process develops.

GP Practice Merger Patient Questions & Answers

The following questions and answers have been prepared to assist all patients of Kingsway and Brickfields Surgeries. These two GP practices are proposing to merge to become a single practice, subject to all regulatory approvals

As our plans develop further and as we engage with our patients, we will continually refresh, update and add to this document.

Q1 When do you expect the merger to take place?

After we have engaged with our patients and regulators, the process would be finished by the end of summer 2021.

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 a merged practice would carry on providing 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.

We will continue to provide daily appointments to see doctors, nurses and healthcare support workers.

Q3 Will my usual surgery opening times stay the same?

Yes. We will continue to be open as we are now and are not anticipating any changes to our core opening times.

Q4 Will there be changes made to the way I book appointments?

No. We currently expect that patients will continue to be able to book appointments in the same way as they already do now.

Q5 Will I have to go to another GP practice site for consultations and/or treatments?

No We will continue to work out of Crouch Vale Medical Centre in the clinical rooms that we use now.

Q6 Will any service that is currently offered by my usual surgery be removed or stopped?

No. We do not anticipate any services being removed or stopped.

Q7 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 would still telephone NHS 111. They will either signpost you to the most appropriate NHS service or arrange for you to access a GP.

Q8 Will the current arrangements that I have in place for getting my medicines stay the same?

Yes. Prescribing would work at the merged practice as it does currently.

Q9 Will the intended merger affect any treatment or medication I am currently receiving either at my usual surgery or any hospital?

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

Q10 Will I need to re-register to become a patient of the single GP Practice? What will happen to my health records?

No, you would not need to re-register and we also anticipate that you would remain registered with the GP you have now. All of our patients would automatically join the single GP practice and your health records would reside in a single patient database. The NHS safeguards in relation to patient confidentiality of information would remain in place throughout and after the transition.

Q11 What will happen to my medical records?

All patient paper records at both practices will be digitalised in the near future regardless of the proposed merger.

Each practice’s clinical systems would also merge into a single system in a single practice. This is an automated process and patient information will be transferred safely and securely.

This new single system would allow the merged practice to work as a single organisation, providing you with the same safe and effective care, as we do currently.

Q12 Will the merged GP practice continue with the existing services to patients?

There would be no change to existing services. Patients will benefit from having a wider choice of clinicians to consult with and we will continue to provide joint injection clinics, sexual health clinics, phlebotomy services, NHS Health Checks and access to a social prescriber.

Q13 If nothing is changing for patients, what are the benefits of merging?

The need for the merger arose primarily to avoid patient list dispersal at Brickfields Surgery which would have led to a substantial loss of clinical and administrative staff as well as possibly forcing some patients to use a GP practice outside South Woodham Ferrers.

The merger will help to achieve a stable workforce and improve access to the wider skills and knowledge of the combined teams.

Q14 How can I be involved?

We would like to invite you to join the Patient Participation Group (PPG). PPGs can bring significant benefits to a GP practice such as recommending service improvements, allowing resources to be used more efficiently and, most importantly, developing mutually supportive networks.

You are most welcome to join; please contact our reception team for more information.

We will continue to keep you updated as the merger process develops.

Updated: 31st December 2020