Benfield Valley Healthcare Hub (Burwash and Benfield) and Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre (Brunswick) are coming together to work together. We are confident that the two surgeries will work well together, with both practices having a strong patient focused ethos. We understand that you may have suggestions or questions about the merger so we have put together this FAQ. We are very excited about the future potential of each surgery being part of a larger practice and the broader range of services you will be able to enjoy.

Who has proposed this change?

The partners at Benfield Valley Healthcare Hub and Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre are proposing to come together to form a single, large partnership offering greater stability and sustainability for local general practice services for the future.

Once we have your feedback, the options will be presented to the Primary Care Commissioning Committee of the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). They will make a final decision on the proposed merger 23 March 2022.

What is the proposed change?

Merging the two practices in July 2022 to create a larger, single partnership while keeping their own premises.

Why are the GP Partners proposing this change?

The proposed merger is viewed as the most sensible and viable way to ensure ongoing provision of sustainable general practice services in the area in the future.

This approach is supported wholeheartedly by the Clinical Commissioning Group (who commission Primary Care services in the city).

This way, first rate, sustainable GP services can continue to be provided to the local community and the healthcare needs of the patient population will be met in an improved way.

What do I need to do now?

You do not need to do anything. Responsibility for your care (including your records and GP) will automatically be transferred to the merged practice if the merger goes ahead, unless you choose to register with another practice in the meantime.

How can I give my input into the proposed changes?

· By email to bhccg.primarycare@nhs.net with ‘Merger’ written in the subject heading

· By leaving a message on 01273 238733.

· By emailing bhccg.bhwc@nhs.net

Please note that we will not be able to provide individual responses to all queries. Your input will be taken and summarised and used as the basis for our future decision making.

Please do not include personal medical information/clinical requests in any correspondence on the proposed merger, as the information will be shared with the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, who will make the final decision on the merger proposal.

What will the impact of the proposed changes be on patients?

· Patients will have access to a wider range of services and specialist clinics

· Patients will be seen in a modern, fit for purpose medical centre

· Patients will still be able to see their GP

· Staff will be able to share skills and experience with a larger pool of colleagues.

What will happen to my medical records in the case of the merger?

Your medical records are electronic and will securely be transferred automatically.

Will I still be able to see my usual GP, if the merger goes ahead?

Yes.

I have a number of health conditions and am worried about my continuity of care if the merger does go ahead. What should I do?

If you have a complex condition, or are a vulnerable patient, we will ensure that, where possible, you will continue to receive care from your current GP.

If you have particular needs, for example if you are hearing impaired and require receptionists to behave in a way that makes it easier for you to lip-read, please mention it to your doctor at your next appointment at Matlock Road Surgery and a note can be added to your records, if this has not already been done.

I like being able to see the same GP each time I have an appointment as I feel my care is more personal; if the merger and site closure go ahead, will I still receive personal care?

You will still be able to receive personalised care from your doctor.

However, you can see any GP within the practice regularly, if you wish.

When will these proposed changes take place?

Once we have your feedback, the options will be presented to the Primary Care Commissioning Committee of the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), where a final decision will be made on the proposed merger and site closure on 23rd march 2022 and patients will be informed of the final decision within 4 weeks.

If agreed, the merger will take place in July 2022.

How are GPs funded?

GPs are self-employed practitioners.

Unlike hospital doctors, GPs are usually not employed by the NHS – their practice works like a small business, receiving a sum of money per patient which is then used to pay for the premises, staff and other costs. Profits from this pays GP partners.

BHCCG cannot be a provider of GP services and cannot procure another practice from the site if it is not made available for continued use as a medical provider building.

What support does the CCG give to GPs?

Every effort is made by the CCG to support the city’s GPs to continue to provide services to the local community. General Practice services across the city are facing the same pressures that are being reported from around England. As a statutory public body, we work within the current policy and framework set out by NHS England and will continue to do so to ensure patients receive on going GP services.

The CCG has put extensive measures in place to support GPs in the city, including financial and educational support to help them run their surgeries more effectively and efficiently to free up doctors to provide more care for patients – one surgery saved the equivalent of seven weeks of consultation time per year thro