Hanham Health and Almondsbury Surgery have submitted an application to NHSE to request permission to allow us to merge on 1/4/18. The partners and management teams of both practices have been developing this project over the last few months and, due to a confidentiality agreement which we were advised to sign, we have not been able to share this news with patients until now.
There are a number of legal and contractual questions which need to be settled before a merger between our practices can occur; however, it is felt that the prospects for a successful merger are good, and that the time is now right to advise our patients of this intent. Our staff and the Patient Participation Group were notified about the intended merger on 4 and 5 September, respectively.
The aim of the merger is to achieve a robust and sustainable practice, operating ‘at scale’ over a core of 3 community sites (Hanham, Oldland and Almondsbury Surgeries) building on the strengths of Almondsbury Surgery and Hanham Health, while maintaining the essential character of the merging parties.
It is envisaged that we will merge into a single, multi-site practice under the direction of a unified partnership board, and a centralised management team. Local management of day-to-day operations will be carried out at individual surgeries. Almondsbury Surgery, under the banner of Hanham Health, will continue to deliver healthcare services to its patient base from the current building.
It is emphasized that, although the expanded practice will be called Hanham Health, this should not be construed as a take-over by Hanham Health of Almondsbury Surgery. Although, in terms of patient list size, and geographical spread, Hanham Health is the larger, partners from both practices are keen to stress that this is a merger, drawing on the strengths of both practices. The Lead GP Partner from Almondsbury, Dr Martin Lockyer, will join the Hanham Health Partnership Board and steps will be taken to ensure that the individual cultures, identity and ethos of all three surgeries are maintained.
Hanham Health is a large, successful organisation, that has ventured into the custodial and MOD health environment and has a combined (community patients and prisoners) list size of 25,000. With our 5100 patients this moves us closer to what is described as an optimum size (30,000-50,000) for future sustainability. At this size, the merged organisation will be well placed to influence regional health care delivery models and large enough to compete for upcoming contracts.
Additionally, a dynamic, expanding, training organisation will mean more variety in professional opportunities for staff, and maintain a durable and strong managerial structure, which will strengthen our future ability to recruit and retain high-quality staff.
Both organisations have differing operating models – for example, Hanham Health does not operate a walk-in surgery. These models will be maintained while the merger beds down. Any organisational changes will be made gradually, only when the time is right and after extensive consultation, with patients and staff.
We are keen to hear patients’ views on this merger or to answer any questions which patients may have about it. Electronic feedback can be given by sending an email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anonymous comments can be submitted electronically following this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BT8CCHP , or if preferred, it can be submitted on paper, either delivered directly to the reception desk at Almondsbury Surgery or by post. Envelopes should be addressed to Emma Williams, Strategic Practice Manager.
Although individual replies may be appropriate in some instances, we intend to post responses on the website; we will not, however, identify the origin of the question. This consultation period will end on 25th September 2017, but we will, of course, submit regular progress updates on this site.
In summary, all Partners, having conducted detailed due diligence into this project, are convinced that this merger has major potential benefits, both for patients and staff of both practices. They and the management team of both practices will do everything possible to ensure that this merger takes place smoothly, and in a way which does not compromise either practices’ ability to provide first-class patient care.