Seven practices in Bury intend to merge into a single GP Practice, in a bid to ‘enhance the future of General Practice, local patients and staff’.
The new practice, named Tower Family Healthcare, will be formed over the next 12 months with over 30 GPs. The seven surgeries will all keep their current buildings and patients will still be able to see their usual doctors, nurses or healthcare support workers.
Dr Ajay Kotegaonkar from Spring Lane Surgery said: ‘Merging practices will increase our capacity to see patients, help us learn from other colleagues and develop specialist services like palliative care, diabetes, care of the elderly and urgent care access — all being done to consistent and high quality standards.’
The practices involved are Tottington Medical Practice, Greenmount Medical Centre, Spring Lane Surgery, Radcliffe, Minden Family Practices, which includes Yacht, Waves and Anchor practices, and Uplands Medical Centre, Whitefield.
The plan comes after the British Medical Association (BMA) recently reported the closure or merging of more than 200 GP practices in the past year in the UK. If the move goes ahead, it would be one of the largest mergers of GP practices in Greater Manchester.
Dr Wissam El-Jouzi from Tottington Medical Practice said: ‘Currently, our urgent care capacity is teetering on a knife edge. It only takes a small reduction in GP availability to destabilise the whole system and that creates an unacceptable situation for patients.’
Doctors say the decision has been carefully thought in order to provide constant high quality care and services and enhance the recruitment of clinical and support staff, which is suffering from the current national crisis across the UK.
Dr Simon de Vial, from the Yacht Practice in Minden said: ‘This is a positive move and one we feel is right to ensure future viability and to protect and enhance patient services.
‘In time, we hope more practices across Bury will join us as we encourage greater involvement. It will generate far greater training and career opportunities for all staff and will provide us with multiple opportunities to work as scale.’