Valens Practice Merger

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January 2021 saw the merger of Brockwell, Lintonville and Wellway Medical Groups into a single practice called Valens Medical Partnership.

We would like to thank all of those patients who took the time to respond to our request for feedback. Your input to the process is invaluable to us.

As a patient already registered with a Valens practice, your patient registration transferred to the new single practice automatically along with your medical records and repeat prescription information.

Background to the Proposal

Our practices already worked closely together in partnership to deliver joint services such as evening and weekend clinics 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.”

Dr Aamir Munir, GP Partner, Brockwell Medical Group
Valens PCN Clinical Director

“This is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen the Valens organisation and expand on the successes that we have already achieved by working collaboratively over the past four 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.”

Dr Donna Wall, GP Partner, Lintonville Medical Group

“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 paper work.”

Dr Alistair Blair, GP Partner, Wellway Medical Group

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.

Valens Medical Partnership is 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.

What is the new Practice called?

The name of the merged practice is Valens Medical Partnership. Our surgeries will continue to be called by their names i.e. the Brockwell site, the Lintonville site, the Pegswood site.

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 three practices as usual to provide care to patients.

Can I access new services at other Valens 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 Valens.

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.

Have opening hours changed?

Core opening hours at our sites and our main branches in Ashington, Cramlington and Morpeth remain the same. Telephone lines are open for all patients from 8.00am until 6.00pm Monday to Friday. We are not planning to reduce our services or close any branches as a result of this merger. Like all other practices, we may vary some opening hours because of patient demand and clinical resources.

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.

My Medical Records – how are these affected?

Our computer clinical system has merged the electronic records of all our patients. Whichever doctor or healthcare professional manages your care will be able to access your records no matter which practice you usually visit.

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.

Patient Participation Group 

We plan to form a new single patient participation group (PPG).

A Patient Participation Group (PPG) is a group of patients, carers and GP practice staff who meet to discuss practice issues and patient experience to help develop and improve services. PPGs play a key role in helping patients get the best out of their GP surgery.

If you would like to find out more about the patient participation group or to get involved, please contact us at norccg.valensfeedback@nhs.net

We value your views and if you have any questions or comments, we’d like to hear from you:

Online: Please complete the comments and suggestions form below.

In Practices: Please ask our reception team for a feedback form. This can be filled out anonymously if you wish. You do not need to give us any personal information if you choose not to.

By Email: Please click on and complete the following form Patient Comments Form – Contract Merger and send it to us at norccg.valensfeedback@nhs.net.

By Letter: Please write to us at your local practice address, and mark it for the attention of the Business Lead.

By Phone: You can contact us via your local practice number as normal.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Valens Medical Partnership

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