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20.04.17

Four GP practices merge together as part of Southern FT

Four GP surgeries in Gosport have merged to form one organisation called the Willow Group that will provide care for the 40,000 patients in the area.

At the start of April, Brune Medical Centre, Forton Medical Centre, Stoke Road Medical Centre and Waterside Medical Centre came together to form the Willow Group.

The newly formed group, which is part of Southern Health NHS FT, the largest community and mental health trust in the country, was formed due to falling GP numbers combined with a lack of replacement GPs, with practices struggling to cope with increased demand.

However, Willow Group, has assured patients that are no planned changes to services for patients, as at first patients will remain registered with their own surgery. But from summer they will be able to benefit from increased access to other sites and the specialisms that come with them.

The Group will also continue the collaborative working that has already been happening under the Better Local Care programme.

The practices had already been working together on initiatives such as the Same Day Access Service at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital, which offers patients same day appointments with a range of different clinicians and also points people in the right direction for other specialised services.

Dr Stuart Morgan, a GP and the clinical lead of the Willow Group, said: “We are very pleased to now come together as The Willow Group. This is a positive move for patients, as we are addressing the difficult situation we have been facing in Gosport in the past 18 months in terms of GP recruitment.

“We strongly believe that by working as one organisation we will improve resilience to the capacity challenges we’re experiencing, and not only improve access to care for our residents, but also the range of care we can deliver.”

Brune Medical Centre and Forton Medical Centre have been in partnership with Southern Health since 2016 and Waterside Medical Centre and Stoke Road Medical Centre joined the trust earlier this year.

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