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York practices agree merger

25 February 2016

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Three York practices have agreed to merge, in order to retain staff and create better quality services.

On July 1, Clifton Medical Practice, Petergate Surgery and York Medical Group are set to join forces, subject to agreement from NHS England.

The pooled resources would mean they could recruit the best doctors, medical and nursing staff and help with the likely transition to offering seven-day access, Dr Francis Eyre said, according to York Press. However, the merger would see all current staff and facilities retained.

The new practice, known as York Medical Group, would care for 44,000 patients.

A survey, taken late last year, found that nearly two thirds (60%) of existing patients wanted the merger, compared to 18% who were against it, and 21% who felt unsure.

This comes after The Five Year Forward View confirmed the need for practices to come together to explore new ways of increasing practice sustainability and delivering care at scale.

The potential benefits of merging are significant benefits through economies of scale, the rationalisation of quality frameworks and policies, and the possibility of establishing joint ventures with other GP or NHS organisations, according to NHS England.

However, the potential downside is potential disintegration of relationships, an initial decline in income due to profit sharing agreements, and that individual GPs may have less influence in decision making.