Five Hastings GP surgeries plan merger

Station Plaza Health Centre, Hastings. SUS-150308-145748001
Station Plaza Health Centre, Hastings. SUS-150308-145748001

Five GP practices across Hastings could be merging in a bid to improve patient care in the town.

GPs from The Plaza Surgery and Cornwallis Surgery – both based at Station Plaza Health Centre– Little Ridge Surgery, Essenden Road Surgery and Shankill Surgery are proposing to join forces.

Owen Hayes, of Stonefield Road, Hastings, said he was alerted to the plans after receiving an information pack from his surgery.

“They are going to have a meeting on September 22,” said Mr Hayes.

“I think the idea is to stay where they are. If you can’t get into one you might be moved on to another.”

Last year the Observer reported a shortage of GPs in Hastings has left understaffed medical practices struggling to meet patient needs. In July, 2015, a patient said their appointment at the Cornwallis Surgery had been cancelled because there weren’t any doctors.

On July 24, inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), temporarily closed the Cornwallis Surgery – after finding it did not meet the required standards of patient care.

However, the surgery, which looks after 2,000 people, reopened on August 3 with a new doctor, Dr David Jones.

A letter from Cornwallis Surgery to patients, dated August 3, states: “Dr Jones brings with him the support and assistance of the IMH group, a health care provider which supports the management of services at the Shankill, Essenden Road, and Little Ridge GP practices.

“We will be working with NHS England to provide high quality care across each of these practises and Cornwallis Surgery patients will benefit from this.”

A locality manager, who used to worked at Little Ridge and Essenden Road, has also been appointed at the surgery.

A spokeswoman for NHS England said: “NHS England has received a proposal from these five GP practices in Hastings, who are considering coming together to share clinical experience and resources for the benefit of their patients. We will be reviewing the plans to make sure the proposal would provide the best possible care and long-term access to services for patients.

“No final decision has been made and the practices will keep their patients updated on any developments.”

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