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Two GP surgeries will merge because one struggles with double patient capacity

PUBLISHED: 14:36 12 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:57 16 May 2017

Parkside Surgery and Northumberland Heath Medical Centre could merge to ease capacity strain

Parkside Surgery and Northumberland Heath Medical Centre could merge to ease capacity strain

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Parkside Surgery and Northumberland Heath Medical Centre are merging from the end of September

Two Bexley GP surgeries will be merging this year in a bid to ease capacity.

Parkside surgery in Parkside Avenue, Bexleyheath, which currently has 5,000 patients to one GP, double the capacity it should have, will merge with Northumberland Heath Surgery in Hind Crescent, Erith, which has room to take additional patients and GPs.

This week Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group gave the merger the green light. They said: “Yes, the merger is going ahead. The Parkside practice will continue to operate from its current location until the end of September at which point, the practice will close and all services and patients will transfer to the will be fully migrated onto the Northumberland Heath Medical Centre site.”

Initial concerns were raised with regard to travel for existing Parkside patients who would now have to go to Northumberland Heath.

This was in particular light of changed in bus routes which may mean patients could have to travel through both Slade Green and Erith before they can reach the surgery, a bus journey which will take 30 minutes.

It was suggested that Northumberland Heath’s active patient participation group could discuss volunterring to share lists with other patients for appointments at their next meeting.

Concern was also raised about surgeries in some parts of the borough being able to cope woth the anticipated growth and house-building and therefore subsequent increase in patients.

The possibility of another future health centre in the area was raised, however, it was explained that “there is insufficient GP capacity to build such a centre, and there is sufficient capacity in current practices for anticipated growth in Bexley.”

Members of Bexley council health sub-group confirmed that they are happy with the merger and indicated that it could be re-visited in a year’s time to evaluate how the merged practices are performing.

What do you think about this? Do you attend Parkside Surgery? Would you be happy to travel to Northumberland Heath? Let us know, email emily.king@archant.co.uk

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