Another doctors’ surgery is to close in Brighton and Hove with the departure of a long-serving GP (general practitioner).
The Hove Park Villas surgery, in Hove, is to merge with the Trinity Medical Centre, in Goldstone Villas, Hove, as Dr Alex Mancey-Barratt retires.
Two doctors, Charlotte Beecham and Ian Williams, will join Trinity, which was itself formed from a merger.
Like the Charter Medical Centre, also in Hove, the Trinity practice appears to be part of the trend for consolidation, with bigger surgeries serving larger patient populations.
And the closure of the Hove Park Villas surgery is part of that trend as smaller practices continue to close, with about 10 shutting in Brighton and Hove in just a few years.
A couple of those surgeries have been taken over but the problem has been exacerbated by a national shortage of GPs.
Earlier this year Hove Park Villas was rated as “requires improvement “ after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the official watchdog.
A letter about the closure has been sent to patients. It said: “We have been unable to recruit a new GP partner to replace Dr Alex Mancey-Barratt, following his indication of his intention to retire in June 2017.
“We have been working hard to find the best outcome for our patients, staff, GPs and community.
“We believe that this can be achieved by merging our practice with Trinity Medical Centre to create a larger single practice – an approach that is supported wholeheartedly by Trinity and the Clinical Commissioning Group (who commission our services).
“This way, we can continue to provide first-rate, sustainable GP services to the local community.
“Trinity Medical Centre has excellent facilities, purpose built for modern medical care and is supported by a dedicated team of GPs, advanced nurse practitioners, practice nurses, health care assistants, and family planning specialists – to name but a few.
“They provide extended hours surgeries and are also engaged in the ‘EPIC’ clinics that provide appointment times on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings.
“Trinity is a teaching and training practice, which brings fresh thinking to its services and makes recruitment easier.
“There is good public transport access and on-street parking available close to Trinity.
“The team at Trinity are looking forward to working with us as a single team to provide your care.
“There is no need for you, as a patient currently registered at Hove Park Surgery, to do anything to get a new GP.
“Your care (and your records) will be automatically transferred to Trinity Medical Centre as part of the merger. However, should you wish to register at another practice you are, of course, at liberty to do so.
“Drs Beecham and Williams have confirmed that they will be moving to Trinity.
“We intend to complete the merger and move in to Trinity Medical Centre by the end of September this year. Until (Sunday) 30 September 2018, your care will continue as normal at Hove Park Villas.
“We understand that you may have suggestions or questions about the merger and we would like to hear from you.
“We are holding two joint engagement sessions where patients (and their carers) can find out more information, ask questions or provide their ideas or concerns about the merger.
“Community support workers will be supporting the events, which will be held at Ralli Hall, Denmark Villas, Hove, BN3 3TH.
“Ralli Hall is wheelchair accessible. If you require a community-language or BSL interpreter, please do let us know in advance
“Evening Engagement Event: Wednesday 25 April 2018 from 6pm to 7:30pm
“Afternoon Engagement Event: Wednesday 9 May 2018 from 3pm to 4:30pm.”