Nine Telford GP surgeries set to join forces as new 'super practice'
Nine GP surgeries in Telford are set to join forces to form a new "super practice" in a bid to offer a better service for patients, it has been revealed.
Practices in Lawley, Dawley, Oakengates, Hadley, Aqueduct, Leegomery, Malinslee, Madeley and Lightmoor are set to become part of the newly-formed Teldoc.
The new "super surgery" will launch in April and will be responsible for nearly 50,000 patients across the nine surgeries.
Health bosses say certain services will be concentrated on particular sites, such as same-day appointments, routine appointments and wound care. They have also admitted they expect some will be shut over a period of time as efficiencies are made.
But they insist patients will benefit in the long run.
The merger consists of Dawley Medical Practice, Oakengates Medical Practice, Lawley Medical Practice and Trinity Healthcare.
Trinity runs six surgeries in Telford in Hadley, Aqueduct, Leegomery, Malinslee, Madeley and Lightmoor.
Wayne Cooper, practice director at Oakengates Medical Practice, said: "Individuals from a range of practices in Telford & Wrekin have for some time been exploring the benefits of working together and what working together might mean.
"The four practices have decided to work towards a formal merger and the creation of a new practice with effect from April 1. The new practice will be called Teldoc.
"The list size will be circa 50,000 and there will be 22 partners in the practice.
"Ninety per cent of all patient contacts with the NHS are carried out within primary care. Yet these contacts are taking place within small, fragmented organisations that are under increasing financial pressure, suffering from staff shortages and operating from facilities that are either not fit for purpose or constrained by their size. In the long term, the sustainability of today's position is not guaranteed."
"Actions need to be taken to maintain and improve the standard and importantly the range of clinical services we can offer to our registered patients."
Teldoc will be led by a management board of four GPs – one from each founding practice – with one taking the position of Executive Clinical Chair.
But Mr Cooper said he could not rule out surgery closures in the future.
"We will, as any efficient business should do, seek to utilise all our resources effectively and that includes our estate," he said.
"That will mean that over a period that we would expect to see some reduction in the number of properties that we provide services from, whilst ensuring that we can meet the needs of our patients and any changes in population and demand that will occur over the next few years.
"We will however remain a multi-site organisation.
"We will ensure that we are clear about the provision of services from each site and put in place the necessary workforce, with the right skills to deliver those services.
"We believe that the establishment of Teldoc to be the most creative way forward in tackling the issues that primary care faces today.
"In doing so we believe that not only can we improve the services that our patients need, but we can start to deliver services in a more convenient way for patients, by bringing services out of secondary care and closer to their homes.
"We believe this will benefit patients, benefit staff, benefit the health economy in Telford & Wrekin and deliver value for money."