Proposed Merger between Chells Surgery and Stanmore Medical Group

Important Information

Chells is part of the Stevenage North PCN (Primary Care Network). The PCN is made up of 3 practices

  • Stanmore Medical Group
  • Symonds Green Health Centre
  • Chells Surgery

Working in a network means we work closely in collaboration with each other, share resources and provide joint services together. This is an NHSE countrywide initiative.

Some examples of these services are:

  • Physio services
  • PCN Pharmacists
  • PCN Paramedics
  • Respiratory services
  • COVID 19 Vaccinations

Recently early discussions have commenced between Chells and Stanmore Medical Group regarding the possibility of a merger of the two practices to further develop collaborative working.

We would value your views in relation to this development.

Please complete the patient engagement questionnaire and email it to enhertsccg.stanmore.admin@nhs.net (please note this address is a no reply inbox and is not for medical matters) or fill out a questionnaire that can be found on the front desk of reception.

Merger of Chells Way Surgery and Stanmore Medical Group

Background to the Proposal

Our practices already worked closely together in partnership to deliver joint services such as evening and weekend clinics as well as the covid vaccination programme and we see this as a natural way forward for our partnership.
We believe that the merger is in the best interests of all our patients and that together we will be in a stronger position to care for our patients and meet the needs of the communities we serve.

Here are some quotes from our Partners:

“The merger underpins a better offer for our patients. From improved access to our services, to supporting our exciting, planned initiatives to enhance care for our most vulnerable frail patients as well as developing a better community based mental health offer. It sets out a clear vision which our wider stakeholders/partners will embrace and truly supports the long-term NHS plan in terms of delivering the best care in the community around patient populations.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen the organisation and expand on the successes that we have already achieved by working collaboratively over the past two years. We have already shown that by working together we can improve access and bring new areas of expertise into our individual surgeries. By combining our IT and administrative processes we will be able to provide a safer and more efficient service. The merger will strengthen our clinical workforce and ensure that we can continue to provide high standards of patient care for many years to come.”

“For me this is about strengthening local surgeries, giving our GPs and nurses the best administration backbone that keeps services safe and allows them to concentrate on care not paperwork.”

Why have we merged the practices?

The NHS is changing, and NHS England is asking practices to work together across larger patient populations. We want to ensure that our patients continue to receive high quality medical care.

This merger offers many benefits. Our practices use the same clinical computer system, and in merging, we are able to access patient electronic records through a single system and log in, making it easier for our GPs and nurses to view patient information across all our sites, wherever you may need to be seen, for example in our extended hours services. We are also able to bring together our management and support teams for more efficiency.

Bringing together our practices in this way means we can share our pool of knowledge and skills. Particularly as we know people often have many diseases and needs.

There is a national shortage of GPs and practice nurses, a merged practice will be better able to get the doctors and nurses we need. The workload of a current GP Practice has grown in recent years. We want to make sure that clinical time is spent in patient care not in paperwork.

Chells and Stanmore are also now operating as a Primary Care Network working with key local partners to expand the services we can offer every patient. This is to provide an integrated care system for the benefit of our local communities. This means that we can provide more seamless, joined up patient care. We want to remove the barriers to accessing services and address current challenges.

What does the merger mean to me?

Patients will not see any real change and you will be able to access services at your local practice as you did before the merger. Over time we may be able to offer more specialist clinics and services as we will have access to a wider healthcare team.
As part of this process the Poplars surgery will close, and patients will be seen at the newly expanded Chells Way Surgery.

We are writing to all registered patients of Poplars surgery Practice to advise that the premises will close permanently from 31st March 2022. Please be reassured that the closure of this branch will not affect your registration with Stanmore Medical Group and the doctors and staff will be happy to care for you as our patient at Chells Way, St Nicholas and Stanmore Road. We very much hope that you will remain as our patient.

Can I still see my usual Doctor or Nurse?

Continuity of care is valued by both patients and doctors and nurses. Our healthcare teams are based at their usual locations. You will not have to travel to another surgery for routine care, just as you do now. Where specialist clinics or hub services are available at our other practices, you will now be able to access those.

I have a long-term health problem – how will this affect my care?

Every effort will be made to ensure that you continue to see your preferred clinicians for ongoing care. If you usually attend a clinic at a certain practice for diabetes, asthma for example, then this will continue as normal.

Will there be any change to the service we receive from community services such as district nurses, midwives or health visitors?

The community teams continue to work with all practices as usual to provide care to patients.

Can I access new services at other surgeries?

We will continue to deliver your core GP services through your current practice. We are committed to developing our services and our healthcare team, and in future may be able to offer more specialist services to patients across our sites.

Will the new merged Practice have access to my medical records?

Yes, the three clinical records are being combined into one. If you go to another site, such as for a specialist clinic, your medical record will be available to the clinician seeing you there.

Booking appointments – are there any changes?

You can still book an appointment by ringing your normal practice number or by using our online services.

We now have a central navigation team who will help guide you to the most appropriate appointment for your needs, which is another benefit for all our patients and this merger.

We are keeping our appointment system under review due to Covid-19. We hope to be able to offer you some alternatives to same day access in future. For now, we continue to follow the national rules in having a telephone or online-first appointment system and the facility to see patients face to face should you need this.

Prescriptions – how are these affected?

With a shared computer system there should be no change to the current way in which you order or receive your prescriptions. If you order your prescriptions online, then we may need to update your details. We will contact you if this is the case.

Why choose Stanmore Medical Group?

The Stanmore Medical Group offers a shared administrative and management structure, cutting down the time doctors have to spend on admin to release more time for patient care. Within the Partnership we have the resources to develop innovative services and effective partnerships with local hospitals and care services and can access new funding streams that are only available to large GP organisations.

That means more choices and a quality service for patients, a secure future for the local surgeries they rely on and security and job satisfaction for our committed and capable doctors and practice staff.