Two GP surgeries in Horsham are to merge and be housed on one single site by the end of the year.
Riverside Surgery in Worthing Road will be moving to newly-developed premises at Courtyard Surgery in London Road.
Health bosses say the merger will mean enhanced services for the two surgeries’ 18,000 patients and will not mean any job losses for medical staff.
Both GP practices have been working in a joint partnership - on separate premises - since last October. But in a statement today the two surgeries said: “It has not proved possible to retain Riverside’s current premises,” but that the merger would “realise our aspiration to provide more responsive and holistic general practice for all our patients in the evolving NHS climate.”
The surgeries say that their collaboration has already had a number of benefits including cutting average pre-bookable waiting times to seven days, introducing blood test clinics on Saturday mornings, along with extended early morning and Saturday access.
Meanwhile, nine new consultation rooms have been created at Courtyard Surgery in London Road and the renovations are due to be completed next month with the final move being made before Christmas.
Courtyard surgery has been in Horsham since 1928 - 20 years before the inception of the NHS - and currently looks after 10,000 patients. Riverside has provided health care since 1994 and currently looks after just under 8,000 patients.
In a statement, Courtyard said: “We want to preserve the traditional model of general practice, where you know your doctor and nursing team. However, small surgeries such as Courtyard and Riverside have come under increasing pressure in recent years and are finding it more difficult to provide the range of modern health services and care that patients need.
“In addition, owing to our size, we find it increasingly difficult to provide the extra services to our patients that we know are often needed, as it is not possible for us to provide such services operating on a small scale. However, by working in partnership and combining our passion and drive for better healthcare in Horsham, both Courtyard and Riverside practices will be able to offer their patients access to an enhanced range of new services.”
These will include hearing assessments, wider access to midwife appointments, travel clinics, phlebotomy, specialist diabetes clinics, specialist asthma clinics and alerts over common infections if they become prevalent in the area.