GPs have moved to reassure patients that healthcare services will not be lost following changes at a doctors’ surgery.
Suffolk GP Federation has now officially taken on the management of Christmas Maltings and Clements in Haverhill, which also includes a sister practice in Kedington.
The surgery had faced an uncertain future due to problems recruiting new GPs and increasing patient demand.
As part of the changes at Christmas Maltings and Clements, Suffolk GP Federation is also applying to NHS England and the West Suffolk CCG to move all existing services from the Christmas Maltings building in Camps Road to the Clements surgery in Greenfields Way.
Outreach services run from the Clements building would also move elsewhere in the town, but not until full patient engagement and approval from NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
These services include respiratory physiotherapy and paediatric physiotherapy delivered by West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and chemotherapy and rheumatology clinics provided by Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
Nick Rayner, Executive Director of Suffolk GP Federation and a GP in Newmarket, said: “We are dedicated to improving services and protecting the long-term future of primary care.
“We want the practice to succeed and we firmly believe that the changes we have in mind are the best way to do that.
“It is still very early days and unfortunately we are unable to say more at this time but any potential move of the outreach services would be subject to full public engagement and would need formal approval from the CCG.
“We are confident that there is an alternative location in the town and we will work with all concerned – West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, West Suffolk CCG and our fellow GPs at Haverhill Family Practice – to ensure we can find a suitable alternative.”
A spokesperson for Haverhill Family Practice, said: “We are in support of Suffolk GP Federation and Christmas Maltings and Clements Practice and are looking at collaborative working to redesign areas of primary care services for the whole of Haverhill.”
Suffolk GP Federation is a not for profit organisation owned by most of the GP practices in Suffolk.
It is dedicated to finding innovative solutions to the pressures currently faced by primary care and also runs a number of services for patients.
Dr Rayner added: “Consolidating to just two sites in Clements and Kedington would allow us to focus the resources that we have – and help us to partly address the ongoing difficulties with recruiting new staff.
“As a result, our services would be safer because we would have more clinical cover.
“It will also make the practice less complicated to run, which will ultimately make it more sustainable, allowing us to spend more time treating patients and concentrating on providing the best possible care.”
Patients with questions can contact Suffolk GP Federation at firstname.lastname@example.org or they can keep up to date via the Christmas Maltings and Clements website and Facebook page.
Suffolk GP Federation will also be writing to patients outlining any potential changes and how they can have their say.