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Merger Application submitted; Here’s what you told us

Gosforth Memorial and Jesmond Health Partnership can confirm to patients that our application for a full merger of the two practices has been submitted.

The next step is for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board to review all aspects of our application. We expect to hear their decision by the end of February. Assuming our application is approved, the two practices will contractually merge from the start of April 2024.

In the meantime, please continue to access health care at your registered practice as you normally would. Should there be any changes in the future to how you contact the practices, patients will be notified well in advance.

Your Views

During our 8-week engagement programme, 254 patients submitted feedback either online, in person or on paper, and 70 people attended our three drop-in events. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their views with us.

Here’s what you told us:

  • Of the 254 feedback forms submitted, 238 patients (93.7%) said they understood the reasons behind the merger. Twelve people were unsure, and four people said they didn’t understand.
  • A majority of patients support the proposed merger. One hundred and forty people (55.3%) were in favour, while 71 were unsure (28.1%). Forty-two people (16.6%) were against.
  • Those against or unsure said they worried about a drop in service, loss of continuity of care, particularly with their GP, or that they would have to travel to another location for routine appointments.
  • Sixty-four people said the merger would improve the quality of service (32.7%). Seventy-nine were unsure (40.3%), and 53 people (27%) said it wouldn’t.
  • Location, specifically worrying about having to travel to a different place for an appointment, was the most common reason.
  • One hundred and one patients (40.6%) said the merger could create challenges for them. Eighty-one patients (32.5%) said it wouldn’t, but 67 (26.9%) were unsure.
  • Comments about the location of appointments were again the most prominent.
  • A quick resolution to your issue was the top priority for more than half of the patients (109 of 20) 5 who answered that question. Seeing the same Doctor or Nurse and a choice of appointment times were next highest.

A Note on Appointments, Locations and Doctors

Given how often certain issues were brought up by patients, we want to reiterate our position from our original announcement and FAQs.

  • There will be no reduction in service. All sites will continue to operate as before.
  • There will not be two fewer GPs. Recruitment to replace the clinical capacity of Dr Taylor and Dr McClelland is taking place.
  • Patients will not be forced to travel from Jesmond to Gosforth, or vice versa, for routine appointments, although alternate appointments may be offered.

Patients and Experiences

  • 61% of responses came from GMMC patients (155), with 39% coming from JHP patients (99 responses)
  • More than 90% of respondents had used their practice in the last six months. 38.1% had done so in the last month, and nearly 1 in 3 – 30.7% – had in the last week.
  • Over 8 in 10 patients described their recent experience as either good or very good. (27.5% good; 55.1% very good).
  • Themes of high-quality service and excellent continuity of care were the most common in your experiences.
  • Most responses came from patients in the 48-63 age range (31.1%) and the 64-79 range (35%).
  • Almost two-thirds (63.8%) described themselves as female, compared to 1 in 3 describing themselves as male.

Your Comments

Where patients left free text comments, we read through each one and categorised them on theme and sentiment.

All comments – minus those that were removed due to either potentially identifiable patient information or personal or abusive comments directed at individual members of staff – can be seen below.