Application to merge Chesterfield Drive, Deben Road and Norwich Road practices

As a patient registered with one of the above practices, you are probably already aware that we have been working together since April 2020. We want you to know that we would now like to make this arrangement permanent by forming one large practice as from April 2021. The purpose of this letter is to advise you of our intention to ask NHS England and the Ipswich & East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group to agree to this proposed arrangement. The application will be considered by a panel in February 2021. 

Our intention is to continue to operate from the existing three locations although there are still plans to relocate Chesterfield Drive and Deben Road practices to new premises within the next three years. The site under consideration for the new premises is on the former Tooks Bakery site on the junction of Norwich Road and Old Norwich Road. Once we are in the new premises, the merged practice will operate from two sites, the new premises and the existing Norwich Road site. 

We want you to know that we are not taking this action lightly and we have considered the potential implications and impact on our patients carefully. We will be open and transparent and are keen to ensure that those potentially impacted by our application to merge the three practices are made fully aware of our plans and have the opportunity to comment.  We have set out below the reasons for our merger application and the measures that we are taking to minimise the impact on both our patients and the neighbouring practices.

Current situation:
The three practices are all located within north-west Ipswich, within a mile of each other and broadly cover the same catchment area. Please see the map on the back page of this letter, showing the location of each practice site. We are also all part of Suffolk Primary Care, a partnership of 13 like-minded practices in Suffolk who have chosen to work together. Merging our three practices together will mean that we can work together at a more local level, sharing resources and developing new and more efficient ways of working together. This will help us to ensure that you, our patients continue to receive the high level of care that you deserve.

You may already be aware that the three practices started working together in April 2020 when Chesterfield Drive and Norwich Road partners took over the joint management of Deben Road practice. Since June 2020 we have been delivering a shared ‘On The Day’ service at Deben Road for patients from any of the three practices whose medical needs are deemed urgent. Patients whose medical needs are deemed non-urgent or routine are seen at Chesterfield Drive and Norwich Road. At this stage we do not envisage that the merger will change how and where we deliver our services. There are no immediate plans to change to a single telephone number.

Measures to minimise impact:
As part of our merger plan, we are creating teams of clinical and non-clinical staff to work together to deliver services to patients across the three sites. We will be able to work more efficiently by consolidating our staff resources, and we will have a wider pool of trained staff to provide support and cover. We will also have the resilience and robustness we need to manage the ever-increasing challenges that all GP practices are facing, and help attract new staff when we need to recruit.

We recognise that patients may prefer their care to be managed by someone that they are familiar with, and who has an understanding of their personal history. We will endeavour to provide this by making appointments available for non-urgent and routine issues with a choice of clinicians so as to allow continuity of care wherever we are able. These appointments will be pre-bookable up to 4 weeks ahead. 

We have devised the enclosed feedback form for you to complete so that we are better able to understand impact of the planned merger as this may inform our actions going forward. This is also available on our websites, at reception & in the waiting rooms at all three sites. Please do give us your feedback so that we can take this into account. You may also wish to feedback to an independent organisation, Healthwatch Suffolk accessing their website at www.healthwatchsuffolk.co.uk. Please scroll down to the Feedback Centre and click on the ‘leave feedback’ box. Please find the Deben Road surgery in the search bar and leave your feedback there, even if you are registered at Norwich Road or Chesterfield Drive. Please also feel free to contact Healthwatch Suffolk on 01449 703949

We appreciate that you may have questions and concerns so please feel free to email these to spc.nwipswich@nhs.net

Yours sincerely       

Drs Smith, Ifionu, Donepudi, Ande, Nye and Armour

Merger Map.jpg

Patient Feedback

Chesterfield Drive, Deben Road and Norwich Road practices have been working together since April 2020 following the departure of Deben Road surgery’s only partner. With the increasing need to adapt to the ever-changing environment we have reached the conclusion that the best way forward is to merge our three practices and to consolidate our staff resources. We will therefore be submitting an application to NHS England and the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group to merge the three practice to form a single practice. Our plan is to continue to operate from the existing sites until Chesterfield Drive and Deben Road relocate to the new premises. 

In order that we can understand and therefore mitigate the possible implications of this, both for our patients, it would help us enormously if you could answer some important questions. Your responses will be anonymous and therefore confidential unless you opt to include your name.

The feedback form can be completed in one of two ways. You can either download the form here, fill it out by hand and return it to the practice via the postbox at any of the three of the practices, posting by royal mail to any of the three practices or emailing it to spc.nwipswich@nhs.net

Or simply fill out the online form below:

In order to enable us to issue further communications please include your mobile number and email address below

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