We are delighted to announce our plans to merge with Swan medical Group
We are acting now to pool our resources and clinical expertise to ensure the long-term sustainability of our practices.
It has been widely reported in the media that the NHS is facing a particularly challenging time, having to deal with an increasingly ageing population with more complex health needs. It is not just demands for our services which are increasing, there are also increasing demands on the limited NHS budget, which can only stretch so far. With problems both locally and nationally in recruiting GPs and nurses to work in General Practice, this merger will enable us to look at how we can stabilise, extend and expand locally our already offered services and how – and when – you access them.
As a patient, you will remain registered with your current registered GP, but will soon have access to a wider variety of services and clinical staff between Liphook, Liss and Petersfield.
We believe it to be the best way to ensure that we continue to provide the best service we can to you. We see the key reasons and benefits of the merger as:
- Improved resilience of NHS services in the locality so we can continue to provide high quality general practice services and also allow us to extend services in the future.
- Patients will continue to have access to extended hours as well as their existing early morning surgeries. In addition, patients will have greater access to acute, planned and preventative care.
- Access to a larger number of GPs as there are more partners as well as salaried GPs offering resilience in day to day and long-term care.
- Improved access to a highly skilled nursing team offering improved long term condition management for conditions such as asthma, COPD and diabetes.
- Improved IT systems and telephony supporting a more efficient organisation, which will allow economies of scale by sharing back-office functions and practice administration.
Our current surgeries in Liphook and Liss will remain open providing care for you, but you will also be able to access services at Liphook Village and Petersfield. Surgeries We will look to extend a consistent approach across all sites for our services, with best practice being shared across the newly merged group in the months ahead. We anticipate that the merger will take 12-18 months to fully complete, but we will be one organisation from April 2022.
In a joint statement, Dr Andrew Holden of the Swan Surgery, and Dr Suzy Holden of Liphook & Liss Surgery said
“This is a really positive and exciting announcement at a time of significant pressure for the NHS. Our practices share the same vision for the future, which is to facilitate an outstanding service to our expanding patient populations. We hope this will create a more resilient organisation so we can continue to deliver a high standard of care into the future.”
Anyone wishing to raise any concerns can write to Jo Lush, Business Manager or use our secure online form
Will I still be able to visit my current surgery?
Yes, there are no plans to change access to your preferred surgery. You will also be able to access the other surgeries, if it is more convenient or should you wish to do so.
Will I still be able to contact the surgery directly?
Yes, you will still be able to contact the surgery using the current telephone number. There is also the possibility of transferring calls across sites if required with new technology.
Will I still be able to see my usual GP?
Yes, you will still be able to see your preferred GP. All staff and partners will be based at their original site but will work across both sites as appropriate so that we ensure the best practices are used across the whole new organisation.
How will the merger benefit patients?
Improved resilience of NHS services in the locality so we can continue to provide high quality general practice services and also allow us to extend services in the future. Access to a larger number of GPs and other health care professionals.
Will any service currently offered be removed or stopped?
No – as a result of the merger all previous primary care services offered by the practices will either remain unaffected or will be extended.
Will any new services be introduced?
We strongly hope so. We are still in the early stages of investigating what services would be appropriate and helpful to our patients but are all committed to improving access to and delivering the best healthcare possible.
How will the merger benefit the medical staff at the practice?
Medical staff will have a wider pool of knowledge to draw upon and will have more opportunities to specialise; annual and sick leave should be better covered leading to lower stress levels of the remaining staff. Partners will be able to share the ever increasing administrative work load required of them by the Government.
Will administrative processes be compromised during the merging of the practices?
Merging practices may involve a change of routine for staff. However we would hope to keep inconvenience to patients to a minimum. Please bear with us over the next few months, if you find things take a little longer than usual. But please raise your concerns to the Practice Business Manager if you are worried about the service you receive.
Will staff lose their jobs?
No staff will lose their jobs as a result of this merger.
Will the other practice have access to my Medical Records and where will these be stored?
We all use the same clinical software, EMIS WEB. The merge of this data is intended to take place in April 2022 at which time your electronic medical records will be available to clinicians from all sites as appropriate for patient consultations.
Will becoming a larger practice mean losing that friendly family feeling?
No, the Swan Medical Group wants to ensure that patients can continue to see their preferred clinician if they want to. The merging of the practices hopes to make available more services and skills across the sites. The same staff will be on hand to help you access the best possible health care, we believe therefore that it is possible to be a practice that can offer patients a broader range of services, but in a way that preserves the family practice feeling.
Do I need to do anything as a patient to remain on the list?
No, all patients will remain on their usual GP’s list.
Will the phone number remain the same?
Each practice will retain their usual number, however at some point this could possibly change.
Will I still have online access and get text message reminders?
Yes, both practices use the same clinical software and will continue to offer online access. You will still receive text message reminders, if you have signed up for this service, for booked appointments and other health campaigns, eg. flu clinics.
Will there be more appointments available?
We prioritise patient access and review the availability of appointments regularly, so all patients will continue to have access to the care they need. We will continue to do this to ensure appropriate access for all patients. There will be a greater range of opening hours on offer across all the sites and all registered patients will have access to these appointments.
Will the Nurses and Healthcare Assistants be available as often as they are now?
Will they also work at the other sites? Yes, we have no intention of reducing appointments. We plan to make available more expertise and skills across the sites for all registered patients.
Will I have to go to one of the other sites for particular consultations or treatments?
If we feel that one site may provide a more appropriate service – for example, Family Planning clinics or travel services- you may be asked if you are able to attend another site.
Will the merger affect access to other services such as Community Nurses, midwives, health visitors, counsellors etc.?
No, patients under the care of community-based services at home or within the practice will not be affected.
How will we be kept informed of the merger and changes?
Regular newsletters and information will be displayed in surgery and on our practice websites. We hope to keep you as informed as we can with the merger and any changes. We also plan to hold regular Patient Participation Group Meetings and patient surveys to get your feedback on our progress.
Published: Oct 11, 2021