NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) recently received an application from The Living Well Partnership to merge its two contracts with the CCG together into one. The Living Well Partnership provides GP services locally to its 38,000 patients from a number of surgery sites. One GP practice is within the city of Southampton, east to the River Itchen, and covers five surgery sites. The other GP practice, known locally as St. Luke’s and Botley Surgeries, has sites in Hedge End and Botley.
The two practices already work together within one Primary Care Network (PCN). A PCN brings GP practices together to work at scale to provide a wide range of services to patients and to integrate with other health and care service providers.
The Living Well Partnership has operated the two practices with one clinical and management team. It has requested to merge the two practices together into one NHS contract, and the CCG has approved its application.
This means the two separate NHS General Medical Services (GMS) contracts held by The Living Well Partnership will now merge into one. By merging, the separate NHS contracts which currently use two different IT systems to manage records and work with patients will have one system.
The benefits of a contract merger will reduce the administrative work for both clinical and non-clinical staff and free up time and resources for the practice clinical team to see and treat patients.
The CCG received feedback from the public about the proposal and issues raised during this, such as patient access and concern over travel, were considered by the GP practice and the committee.
The contract merger does not mean any site will be closed and patients will still be able to use their local site. Patients registered with either practice will not experience changes to the GP services they receive or to the services they are referred to by their GP.