What it means
We have an important and exciting announcement about how the 6 local GP surgeries listed below, would like to come together as one partnership to continue to improve the quality of care in the coming years, during a time of enormous NHS challenges:
Willows Medical Centre - 184 Coleman Road, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE5 4LJ
Willowbrook Medical Centre - 195 Thurncourt Road, Leicester, LE5 2NL
Springfield Road Health Centre - Springfield Road Leicester, LE2 3BB (part of Willowbrook)
Clarendon Park Medical Centre - 296 Clarendon Park Road, Leicester, LE2 3AG
Pasley Road Health Centre - Pasley Road, Eyres Monsell, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE2 9BU
Heatherbrook Surgery - 242 Astill Lodge Road, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE4 1EF
Willows Health Evington - 1 Evington Lane Leicester Leicestershire LE5 5PQ
We have been working together sharing our values and commitment to delivering high quality clinical care over the past 2-3 years.
We now wish to continue this journey of collective working, providing high quality clinical care and improved access to a wider set of clinical services from the same surgeries. To enable us to do this we are proposing to formalise our working relationship by merging into one practice.
The 'new' practice will still have the same surgeries, doctors, and healthcare professionals. By pooling our management and clinical teams, we will offer greater resilience and deliver a wider set of innovative services for our patients.
We asked for your feedback and many patients took their time to complete our questionnaires and write into the practice to express their thoughts, learn more about this process and to ask any questions.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to provide your feedback, don’t worry – you can still do this here by clicking the options above.
We have collected a series of the most commonly asked questions below, sent in by our patients, that we feel may be useful to share with you to answer and hopefully assure you of any concerns. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our patients and the community for taking their time to write into the practice, for providing feedback and Insight to the way in which your care is accessed and delivered and to thank those that attended our drop-in sessions held at each of the practice locations.
Please see your most commonly asked questions, with their answers, listed below.
Will this help me get an appointment to see a GP?
Access is currently a national issue that cannot currently be resolved at practice level. We acknowledge the frustrations that patients have when they are unable to get an appointment, and we too share this frustration as we want to help our patients when you need us most.
The merger will however allow us to build a more resilient workforce, that can better maintain service throughout periods of unprecedented absences of administrative and clinical staff.
The practices will continue to follow the current protocols in place for when we are booked to capacity, and we would like to assure you that we will continue to do the best we can with the resources we have at our disposal.
Will this improve the waiting times on the phone lines?
The number of phone calls received by the practice is sadly beyond our control. We audit the telephone system regularly to evaluate and review the quality and number of calls that are answered / missed, and the queuing times experienced, to continuously improve or identify any risks. This merger will allow us to unify back-office functions and allow us to review and monitor the performance of each practice more closely. Please be assured that answering calls from our patients remains one of our key priorities and synchronising back-office functions will allow us to manage our operational duties more effectively, which we hope will improve wait times experienced on the telephones and overall patient experience.
Is my data and medical information safe?
Yes, your data and medical information will remain safe and in accordance with the NHS regulations. There will be no changes to the way in which your information is being accessed or stored.
Will the GP’s based at my site now work across all the merging sites?
Your GP’s and clinical staff will remain the same at each of your practice Locations. However, there may be cases where clinicians may work at a different location to help provide cover when needed, but this will not affect the care or service being offered at your practice.
Will my GP change?
No, your GP will not change.
How will the proposed merger improve service and access?
The merger will help us to better maintain service and make us more resilient as a practice. The streamlining and merging of the back office functions should then improve the patient journey and improve patient service.
Access does remain a national issue, but the surgeries will continue to offer the best service they can with the resources we have available.
What will change?
No changes will be made to the way in which patients access service. The same contact telephone number and location of each surgery will remain the same. The main change will that be of operational back-office functions where the systems will unify to enable collaborative, shared, supportive working across each merging practice.
Will my surgery location close?
No, your surgery location will not close.
Do I need to do anything?
No, patients are not required to do anything – however, we do welcome your feedback and thoughts which you can provide by completing the feedback forms above.
What is the patient communication about?
We want all our patients to know about the merger, and to be given the opportunity to offer feedback and ask questions.
How long will the communication process take?
We plan to run a 30-day communication process to give time for you to share your views and ask questions. You can do this via the patient survey (details below) and via drop-in sessions (included in letter).
What will happen at the drop-in sessions?
You will be able to discuss any concerns or feedback with members of our team face to face. If we can’t answer a question at that point, we will respond to your query before the end of the communication period.
I cannot attend the drop-in session at my usual place practice, can I attend at another location?
Yes, you can attend our drop-in sessions at any of our sites at a time convenient to you.
How will this affect me?
We plan to make this merger as easy as possible. You will not notice any change to the way in which your surgery usually operates.
What will change?
The back-office duties and functionality will be made more resilient by enabling the different surgeries to work together and offer support when needed.
The merger will propose the following to patients:
More services for patients such as considerations for paediatric clinics and specialists like cardiologists, for example.
Better ability to maintain services during staff absences or sickness
The opportunity to offer more training and support to staff
Allow surgeries to utilise the wealth of experience from various staff members and sites and incorporate this into practice to achieve a better standard and quality of service
Collaborative staff working with different partners within the NHS
Will I still be able to see my usual doctor/nurse/health care professional?
Yes, you will still be able to see your usual doctor, nurse or healthcare professional based at your usual site. We are not making any changes to the teams at each location.
Will I still be able to go my usual surgery?
Yes, you will, your registered surgery location will not change.
Will the phone number change for my surgery?
No, the merger will not affect the telephone number you use to contact your usual surgery.
Will the opening times change for my surgery?
No, the opening times will remain the same for your surgery and will not affected by the merger.
Will I still be able to get my prescriptions the same way at my surgery?
Yes, the process for ordering your prescriptions will not be affected.
Will the staff remain the same at my surgery?
Yes, your staff will remain the same at your surgery. We are not making any changes to the team at each location. However, we will have cross working of clinical and non-clinical staff across sites to ensure better staffing continuity to help better manage periods of staff sickness or holidays.
How will this affect my confidential patient information?
All the Willows Health team are bound by the same confidentiality rules and regulations. The proposed merger will not affect your patient information in any way.
Will I notice any difference in the day-to-day service offered by my surgery?
No, you should not experience any difference in the day-to-day services offered by your surgery. If you do, please get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When will the merger happen?
The merger process will start from April 2023, subject to approval.
Will I be asked to visit another site?
No, you will not be asked to visit another site.
How can I give my feedback?
Your feedback is important to us. We have therefore included a questionnaire with the letter for you to complete, and hand back to your surgery. We will also have paper copies of the questionnaire at your surgery.
Alternatively, you can access our feedback form using the following link to leave your feedback there:
I would like to complete the questionnaire but would need to have it translated, is this possible?
Yes, if you have a certain communication requirement, please inform your practice so that they may assist you in your query.
How will my response to the questionnaire be used?
All feedback we receive will be treated confidentially, and we will use the feedback to identify any concerns or issues as they arise.
If you would like these documents in a different language, please contact your practice.