We are delighted to announce our intention to merge Silverdale Practice with the Meadows Surgery on 1st April 2022. Following discussion with GPs and staff about our strengths and weaknesses as individual organisations, and our vision for services in the future, we have concluded that we share the same ambition, and a merger of the two organisations offers significant benefits, providing a genuinely exciting opportunity in terms of increased resources, skills and experience.
The same doctors, practice nurses and staff will still be part of the new team. You will be able to see your chosen doctor as usual. The same principles of quality and personal care will continue to be uppermost in the new partnership but our aim is to enhance services and flexibility whilst ensuring stability for our patients. An enlarged organisation also allows us to improve access to services.
The practices are very enthusiastic about the new partnership and we will be working closely over the coming months to integrate systems and combine processes. However, our main priority is to ensure a seamless transition for our patients and minimise any disruption.
We see this as an opportunity for us to build a secure future for our two practices. For you, it will mean a proactive practice able to manage and navigate the challenges of the NHS and offer the best for our patients with excellent resources.
We will keep you updated regularly with any further developments.
Patient Questions and Answers
The following questions have been prepared to assist the patients of Meadows Surgery and Silverdale Surgery
When will the merge take place?
It is anticipated that the merge will take place by 31.3.2022 subject to all regulatory approvals and following a period of engagement with patients and all the staff who are employed by both GP practices.
Will I still be able to make an appointment to see my usual doctor or healthcare professional?
Yes. We very much value all the one-to-one relationships our patients have with our doctors and healthcare professionals. It is expected that merging practices will further increase our ability to provide you with continuity of care and access to your usual doctor and/or healthcare professional.
Will I still be able to make appointments at my usual doctors’ surgery?
Yes. We will continue to provide daily appointments to see doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals.
In addition to these appointments, we will also be offering online e-consult which is a convenient way to communicate with a GP during opening hours via the practice websites. This is a popular service where you can get help from a GP/healthcare professional. Your form will be reviewed, and you will receive a response from the practice within 48 hours with advice about what needs to happen next. This could be a phone call, a face-to-face appointment, a prescription or a referral to another service
Will my usual surgery opening times stay the same?
Yes. We are not currently planning any changes to our core opening times.
Will there be changes made to the way I book appointments?
No. We are not currently planning any changes to the way you book appointments and you will therefore continue to be able to book these in the same way as you do now with your current practice i.e. via the telephone, at your surgery or online.
Subject to approval of our merger plans, we expect to be able to move to a single telephone number for both sites. However, in the short-term, you should continue to ring your usual surgery to make an appointment and for any other queries you may have.
We will also continue to contact all of our patients who require scheduled vaccinations, chronic disease reviews or routine screening e.g. cervical screening tests, etc.
Will any service that is currently offered by my usual surgery be removed or stopped?
No. We are not planning for any services to be removed or stopped. If anything, we anticipate that this merger will bring about a greater choice of services.
How will you make sure there is no reduction in the quality of services that are provided?
The quality of our services will continue to remain our number 1 priority and will continue to be monitored regularly in the same way as they are now. We will continue to benchmark all of our services against both national and local targets including the quality in Primary Care Standards. We will also continue to work West Sussex CCG to ensure that we are flexible in our response to meet our patient’s needs within local neighbourhoods.
Will there be any changes to how I access the GP out of hours’ service?
No. In order to access a GP when the new practice is closed, you will continue to telephone the NHS 111 service and they will either signpost you to the most appropriate service or arrange for you to access a GP.
Will the current arrangements that I have in place for getting my medicines stay the same?
Will the intended merge affect any treatment or medication I am currently receiving either at my usual surgery or any hospital?
No. Any current treatments, medications or investigations will not be affected by our intentions to merge.
Will I need to re-register to become a patient of the single GP Practice? What will happen to my health records?
No, you will not need to re-register and we also anticipate that you will remain registered with the same GP as you are now.
All our patients will automatically be merged into a single GP Practice and your health records will sit within a single patient database. The NHS safeguards in relation to patient confidentiality of information will continue to remain in place throughout the transition.
Will the single GP Practice be able to provide new services to patients?
One of the main reasons to merge and form a larger practice, is for us to be able to expand the services that we can provide locally. For example, we hope to be able to include access to see other healthcare professionals e.g. Pharmacists for medication reviews, Physician associates, Physiotherapists, Paramedics etc.
How will the new arrangement benefit GPs and Nurses at the practice?
Our GPs, Nurses and Healthcare professionals will all have access to a wider pool of clinical knowledge and expertise to draw upon and we will have far greater opportunities to specialise in areas such as diabetes, care of the elderly, palliative care and urgent care access.
We also anticipate that the current level of administrative tasks that our clinical staff perform will be dramatically reduced, therefore allowing them more time to spend on responding to and delivering the clinical care our patients need.
We will also be able to better cover any planned or unplanned absences which we hope will alleviate the resulting pressures felt by remaining staff. In addition, we should also be able to reduce our reliance on locum and bank staff.
We also anticipate that all our staff will be provided with greater opportunities for enhanced training and career development.
Further questions answered from Feedback
Will our practice move to bigger premises or will they say where they are?
Where will the new improved service be delivered from?
Will you be keeping both surgeries open not moving to a single site?
The 3 current buildings will remain as they are with the same teams of nurses and doctors working there. You will continue to be able to see your doctor or nurse at your usual surgery. There are no plans to move to a single site or close any surgeries. The Partners are still trying to acquire land for another surgery building to provide GP services for the Northern Arc development which will add an estimated 15,000 people to the Burgess Hill population.
Whilst I note that a majority of appointments are now done by telephone (which incidentally I don’t agree with and don’t believe offers the best option for diagnosing patients), if the decision is made to move to a single site, which I note is not explicitly addressed on your website and will presumably become an option at some point, and the Meadows site was vacated in favor of the Silverdale site, I would consider this too far from where I live (35 minutes walk), particularly if I was feeling sufficiently unwell to require a face-to-face consultation, and would therefore look for an alternative GP surgery that was closer to my home.
In the last 3 months the 2 partnerships have completed over 20,000 face to face appointments and over 10,000 telephone appointments. There are no plans to move to a single site or close any surgeries. The Partners are still trying to acquire land for another surgery building to provide GP services for the Northern Arc development which will add an estimated 15,000 people to the Burgess Hill population.
Will we still be able to go to silverdale surgery? Will we keep our same doctor?
Yes and yes.
What will happen to the current link between Silverdale and The Avenue. What additional services/clinics will be available as a result of the merger? When the Northern Arc development is begun, will the Meadows serve that?
The current links will remain the same. The current clinics and services will remain the same and both surgeries have a very similar range of provision . Our new size will allow us to add services such as visiting consultants, mental health workers and paramedics. As the NHS changes the way we work we will be in a much stronger position to adapt to changing needs. The Partners are still trying to acquire land for another surgery building to provide GP services for the Northern Arc development which will add an estimated 15,000 people to the Burgess Hill population.
With just one new phone number, will there be more staff to answer the phone at any one time, and improve the present system that often results in long waits?
We will be moving to “cloud telephony” which enables us to map call demand and add staff to the phone lines at peak times. Staff answering the phone will be able to do this from any of the sites or from home via a linked computer system. This system should help us keep the waits to a minimum. Using e-consult for queries and appointment requests also frees up reception time to improve call answering.
Do you envisage moving both practices to one larger premises in the future!
Shouldn’t you introduce who the meadows are? I don’t have a clue who they are, where they are based, etc Would just be interesting to know something about them.
Both partnerships have websites containing information about where they are based and details about their staff and services.
If you would like to leave your feedback or suggestions regarding the merger, please complete our feedback form.