Practice Merger FAQ

As you may be aware, we have been in discussions with Nexus Health Group with a view
to a merger between Surrey Docks Health Centre and Nexus Health Group. Our
discussions have been ongoing and we are pleased that the business case was approved
by our commissioners, NHS England (London) and NHS Southwark Clinical
Commissioning Group, at the Joint Commissioning Committee on the 25th April 2017. We
will therefore be merging on the 1st July 2017.

]As a patient you will not see any immediate changes to the practice; however we
appreciate that you may have some questions about the merger and the organisation we
are joining. Below are questions & answers that we hope you will find helpful, the
questions in part are formed from discussions at our patient engagement sessions in
March.

Why are we merging?

Since relocating to the new building, 3 partners have left to pursue different career paths
or due to having young families with lengthy commutes. It has proved impossible to recruit
GP’s to the partnership. Dr Holden and Dr Marrinan, the partners of Surrey Docks Health
Centre, are both over 60 years of age and will in the next few years be thinking about
retiring from the partnership and they want to ensure the long term stability of the practice
for the benefit of patients and staff. The contract we hold with NHS England is a GMS
(General Medical Service) contract and we have been hit with a significant on-going loss of
funding since a redesign of the contract in 2012.

There is national policy in the NHS to encourage practices to ‘work at scale’ with other
local practices and it is likely this will be the future of General Practice, with the aim to
provide improved and more consistent patient care. We believe that the merger with
Nexus will allow us all to:

  • Better plan the services we can offer to patients.
  • Tailor our services to the needs across the whole patient population for Nexus.
  • Offer more varied appointment times at different locations.
  • Continue to offer our patients access to services over all sites.
  • Continue to offer good quality primary care to our patients.
  • Develop new ways of working for the benefit of patients and staff.
  • Structure our workload to allow doctors and nurses to spend less time on non-clinical administrative work.
  • Ensure the future stability of our practices.
  • Provide more development opportunities for our staff.

Who is Nexus?

Nexus Health Group is 4 practices in Southwark (Princess Street Group Practice, The
Walworth Partnership, The Aylesbury Partnership, Bermondsey and Lansdowne Medical
Mission) who merged to become one partnership called Nexus Health Group in August
2016. Nexus & Surrey Docks Health Centre have similar ethos and value traditional
General Practice & providing high quality and continuity of care for their patients. Once the
merger is complete there will be 70,000 patients registered with Nexus over nine sites.
This is a legal merger and Drs Holden and Marrinan will join the Nexus Partnership

What will happen after the 1st July?

From the 1st July, Surrey Docks Health Centre will be known as Nexus Health Group@
Surrey Docks Health Centre and all the staff will remain based here. You will probably see
very little change initially. We will merge our clinical systems (IT) by April 2018, we will
update you when this will be happening and any short term impact it may have on the
services we can provide whilst the systems are merged. You will continue to come to the
Health Centre for all your appointments.

Will you be making staff redundant?

No, all staff will be transferred over to the new merged organisation.

Will I still be able to book the same appointments?

Our systems for booking appointments or to be seen/spoken to on the phone for same day
urgent problems will be the same from the day we merge.

How will it affect appointments and waiting times?

There are no immediate plans for Nexus to offer appointments across all sites, however it
may be that in time appointments for specialised clinics such as Minor Operations could be
offered to patients across all Nexus sites instead of just at individual practices We have in
the past reviewed our appointment system in terms of demand and clinical capacity and
now that the merger is going ahead our appointment system will be analysed internally
and we see this as a great opportunity to improve our system by taking best practice from
the other Nexus sites. We appreciate that there are long waits to book a routine
appointment but know that this is an issue for many practices in South London but this
work will help us to see how we could improve access.

What happens if I need to be seen out of hours?

Patients will continue to contact SELDOC (our Out of Hours Service) and will also have
access to appointments offered via the practice to the Extended Access Clinic at
Bermondsey Spa.

Will I still be able to contact you on the same telephone number?

You will still be able to use the same telephone number. We would over time hope to have
a single telephony system for all sites which would allow for some centralisation of
services but would make any system simple for patients to use.

Will we have better use of services?

Across all the Nexus sites we would look to improve our services and this could involve
using different types of staff to provide clinical care as well as GPs and practice nurses.
For instance there is currently work going on to increase the number of Clinical
Pharmacists based within Primary Care and this is something that Nexus is involved with.

Will I be able to request my repeat prescription the same way as now?

You will be able to request and collect your repeat prescription in the same way as you do
now. We plan to explore ways of improving this service so that it is easier for our patients
to receive their regular medications without having to visit the practices for instance by
increasing on-line access for prescription requests.

What will happen to our Patient Participation Group (PPG)?

Surrey Docks PPG will continue to exist but also work more close with the PPGs over the
whole of Nexus. The chairs of PPGs in Nexus now meet regularly and we plan Nexus wide
as well as site based PPG meetings.

Will it be easier to recruit staff?

Nexus sites and Surrey Docks Health Centre are both training practices; this can be a
great way to bring talented GP’s into practices. Nexus is also looking at ways to train and
attract other clinical staff including nurses and physicians assistants. We are also looking
at ways to provide development opportunities for all staff to ensure we are attractive
employers and retain staff. Advertising for vacancies as a larger group, which can offer
more flexibility and opportunity, we hope will be more attractive to GP’s & Nurses.

Will I still be registered at my current practice?

Until we undertake our IT merger later in the year you will continue to be registered with
Surrey Docks Health Centre. When we merge our IT we will have one clinical database
(using EMIS clinical software that both Surrey Docks and Nexus have) and you will then
be registered under Nexus Health Group. However you will still be able to continue to see
your own GP or nurse at Surrey Docks Health Centre.

We hope you have found this information helpful, we are planning a further
Patient Engagement meeting over the summer, where you will have the
opportunity to ask further questions, however if you have any questions in the
meantime please do ask a member of the team or contact our Practice
Manager.