Plan to merge GP surgeries in Ossett revealed after problems recruiting doctors

Plans have been revealed to merge two GP surgeries, following problems recruiting doctors at one practice.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 9:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 9:30 am

Prospect Surgery, in Ossett, has asked for permission to tie its operations in with Church Street Surgery.

Both practices are run separately at the same site in Ossett's Health Village, so should the merger go ahead it would not result in longer journeys for any patients.

The proposal was put forward after Prospect's senior partner, Dr Adrian North, announced he was leaving the practice at the end of March.

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Both practices are based at the Ossett Health Village.

In 2017, the surgery had five practising GPs, but Dr North's departure will leave it with just one.

Health chiefs at Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which runs local surgeries, will now start an engagement process to gauge public opinion.

Speaking at the CCG's probity committee meeting on Tuesday, Dr Hilary Craig said: "The practice has struggled to recruit new GP partners, and the resignation of Dr North has been the catalyst for this application to merge.

"It doesn’t have sustainable capacity to meet the needs of patients."

A public engagement process will now begin.

Asked if there were any "downsides" to the proposed move for patients, Dr Craig replied: "From Prospect’s point of view, it’s a positive thing because they’ll have more access to a wider range of clinical staff.

"When Dr North leaves, some patients may lose that access. From a Church Street perspective they’ve been quite positive about it.

"It's early stages in terms of the community engagement."

Both surgeries will now lead the consultation process with their own patients.

Speaking after the meeting, Mel Brown, the CCG's director of commissioning, said: "It’s important that there is now an engagement process that captures the views of as many patients as possible from both Prospect and Church Street, including those who may have not attended the practices recently."

If approved, the merger is likely to ahead in October.

Local Democracy Reporting Service