Practice Merger FAQs

Merger of Hermitage Surgery and Westrop Medical Practice

We are delighted that Hermitage Surgery and Westrop Medical Practice are planning to merge following Dr Steve Rhodes’ announcement to retire on 30 November 2017.

This list of frequently asked questions is designed to provide you with all the information you need as a patient.  If your question is not covered, please contact Terry Walker, Operations Manager.

  1. Why are Hermitage Surgery and Westrop Medical Practice proposing to merge?

As we are sure you are aware Dr Steve Rhodes has been planning on retiring for some time.  As Dr Rhodes is the sole partner at Hermitage Surgery, there are no other Partner GPs to take on the running of the practice once he has left.  Therefore, Westrop Medical Practice are planning to merge and will take over the running of the contract and will provide primary care medical services from Hermitage Surgery.

  1. Is the merger supported by NHS England and Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group?

We have discussed our plans with NHS England and Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group both of whom are supporting the proposed plans for our practices to merge.

  1. When would the merger be completed?

Following meetings with NHS England and Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group the plan is that Hermitage Surgery and Westrop Medical Practice would become one practice from the 30 November 2017.

  1. Would I still be able to see my usual GP or Nurse?

Once the proposed merger is complete, Dr Rhodes will continue to work at the practice for two days a week for a period of six months to aid the transition.  The nursing and other practice staff will remain at the surgery and we are committed to continuing to provide the best care to our patients.

  1. Will I still be able to collect my medication from my usual pharmacy?

There will be no change to where you collect your prescriptions or medication from.

  1. How will the proposed merger benefit patients?

We will be able to maintain the provision of high quality care to our patients from Hermitage Surgery and patients will not have to register with another practice.

  1. What will change?

From 30 November 2017 Dr Rhodes will reduce from full time to work two days a week for a period of six months.  GPs from Westrop Medical Practice will also be providing care from Hermitage Surgery.  The existing nursing staff and administrative staff will remain the same.

  1. Would I have to go to another site for my consultations?

The benefit of the proposed merger is that patients will still be able to access care at Hermitage Surgery.

  1. Would there be improved access to appointments?

We will continue to review the availability of appointments regularly to ensure patients have access to the care they need.

  1. Would the proposed merger affect access to other services such as community nurses, midwives or health visitors?

No, patients receiving care from community based services either at home or in practice will not be affected.

  1. Are there plans to close any of the sites?

There are no plans for any of the sites for Hermitage Surgery or Westrop Medical Practice to be closed.

  1. What would happen to my medical record?

Both practices currently use the same clinical system, SystemOne. From the 30 November 2017, SystemOne will be notified and plans will be put in place to merge into one clinical system and all records will be available to all the clinicians across the merged practices.

  1. How are you planning to keep patients informed of the progress of the merger?

Both practices are working very closely with the respective Patient Participation Groups on communications. Updates will be available in the form of postings on the websites, posters in the waiting room, and patient participation group meetings.

  1. Would I have to stay with the merged practice?

No, if you do not wish to remain with the proposed merged practice you are free at any time to register with another GP practice, provided you live within their practice boundary. NHS Choices on-line provides information on other local practices.