Two neighbouring GP practices at Cowplain – which merged earlier this year – are to co-locate to work on the same site.
Queenswood Surgery merged with Cowplain Family Practice last April, since when it has been trading as Oaks Healthcare.
The two sites are 0.4 miles apart on the main London Road but the GP partners plan to move all staff to the purpose-built Cowplain site some time in 2018 – at which time the Queenswood site, a converted house – will be closed.
Dr Susan Stanley said: “We did not originally intend to co-locate for some time after the merger. However, suitable space and funding has become available and the GPs feel that this opportunity may not present itself again in the foreseeable future.
“All the Queenswood staff – including GPs and nurses – will be moving to Cowplain, so patients will still be able to see the same doctors and nurses.
“The Queenswood patients will also continue to see the same familiar faces on reception as all the administrative staff will also be moving to work alongside the Cowplain Family Practice staff.
“We do appreciate that there will be some disruption and inconvenience to a number of patients, which we obviously regret. But we feel that the move will be of long-term benefit to both patients and staff, as it will help us to build a more resilient team with the flexibility to cope with future NHS demands. A major benefit will be the greater opportunity for clinical staff to share expertise with each other.”
The Cowplain site is fully accessible and will greatly improve access for patients from Queenswood who are disabled, have mobility problems or pushchairs.
Dr Caroline Williams added: “The move to a single site will also allow us to take on more trainee GPs. This is important for the future of primary care as the government is trying to address the GP shortage by creating more training places.
“Our patient list size is increasing daily but unfortunately the current premises at Queenswood are limiting our ability to offer the services both we and our patients would like us to provide.”
The practice has written to all Queenswood patients to inform them of the move, and invite them to an open morning at Cowplain on Saturday January 27, 2018, where they can meet and discuss the move with staff.