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One Doncaster GP merger plan ditched, as three others move forward

Dr Dean Eggitt at Oakwood Surgery in Cantley
Dr Dean Eggitt at Oakwood Surgery in Cantley

Plans to merge two high profile Doncaster GP surgeries have been abandoned.

The plans to merge the Oakwood Surgery, in Cantley, and the the Mayflower Medical Practice, in Bawtry, was on a list of four mergers which have been approved by health bosses in the borough.

But leaders at the practices have now confirmed they have scrapped the plans to fully merge Oakwood and Bawtry.

Dr Dean Eggitt, GP at Oakwood Surgery, confirmed the plans to merge his practice had been shelved, although they would be continuing to work closely together.

He said: "The OS and MMP will no longer be progressing as a merger.

"We have been working together for the last two years and have found all of the benefits of working at scale without having to merge. We are currently sharing staff and policies and have aligned out telephone and computer systems. We have also aligned some of our suppliers contracts.

"Given the realisation of all of these benefits, it was felt that merging was no longer necessary as we have created the system resilience that we were looking for."

The final decision was made last week.

The other mergers which have been approved by the Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group's primary care committee would see the the Auckley Surgery merge with the Village Practice, in Armthorpe; the Phoenix Practice join with the Flying Scotsman Centre; and the Carcroft Doctors Group join with Princess Medical Centre, in Woodlands.

Liz Leggott, practice manager at Auckley Surgery, said everything was going well in their merger with the Village Practice, with meetings between the practices held weekly.

She said: "The practice staff have now met about three times as a whole and some shadowing by staff across the two sites has taken place. We have managed to secure another GP partner in the practice who will start with us on April 1 and we are ready for the businesses to merge on the April 1 too.

"The actual patient lists will merge a little later on down the line, possibly end of July/beginning of August purely because The Village Practice are moving over to our clinical system, so it will take a little longer."

There are plans for open days, one at Armthorpe and one at Auckley, where patients will be invited to come and meet with staff and patient group representatives, so they can ask questions directly. They are planned for Tuesday March 20 at Auckley, from 9am until 3pm; and Thursday March 22.at Armthorpe, from 9am until 3pm.

Sue Bushell, business manager at Carcroft Doctors Group said Carcroft Doctors Group and Princess Medical Centre were due to merge as businesses on April 5, and then to merge clinically on June 19, but it would be July before patients saw any changes.

She added: "We will look at a new appointments system and a new system of working. The doctors will look at each others systems and tweek them. Everything is going well and patients will hopefully see changes for the better in July."