by Dave Barry
Four GP practices in Scarborough are to merge on 9 April.
Belgrave, Falsgrave, Peasholm and Prospect Road surgeries will come together as a new partnership called Central Healthcare.
It will be led by six partners who are all doctors: Faisal Baloch, Deepankar Datt, Ron Diffey, Simona Gheorghiu, Ruth Guest and Omnia Henfi.
Some of the GPs across the four practices have chosen not to become partners of the new business, but will remain as salaried doctors.
The four surgeries will continue to operate from their current premises and patients will still be able to see the doctor they’re used to seeing, if they wish.
A spokesperson said the merger means patients will have greater access to appointments and clinics over a longer day and at weekends, as well as access to more specialist care in a surgery setting.
“The media is full of news and features about the NHS being in crisis”, the spokesperson said. “It was clear to the GPs and managers of the four practices that the current situation was not sustainable long term due to the ever-mounting pressure being placed on each individual surgery.
“They have realised that to continue working as isolated small practices they would increasingly struggle to provide a high-quality, responsive and safe service for their patients. Furthermore, the government is now keen to support practices working together as larger organisations to bring about more innovative ways of working”.
In a few months, the surgeries’ telephone numbers will change. There will be a dedicated line for repeat prescriptions, managed by a medication team.
Patients will be able to order medication at weekends and on evenings by leaving a message for the team, or via a new website.