Banbury GP surgeries set to merge next week

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Two of Banbury’s main GP surgeries are set to merge together.

Banbury Cross Health Centre and the Horsefair Surgery will begin operating as Banbury Cross Health Centre from Tuesday May 26.

A statement from the Banbury Cross Health Centre said: "We made a decision in discussion with the CCG to bring this forward slightly as we believe the merger will make us stronger and more able to cope with the pressures of delivering services during the pandemic."

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Both Practices are run by Principal Medical Limited (PML), a not-for-profit organisation owned by local GPs.

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Banbury Health Centre | other

In addition to running these two practices, PML also provide other services to support primary care. These include a home visiting service, Hospital at Home and ‘GP Hub’ appointments in the evenings and weekends.

Andrew Elphick, PML chief executive, said: “We are really pleased to be bringing Horsefair Surgery together with Banbury Cross Health Centre to ensure the most sustainable outcome possible for local patients.

“The planned merger as previously announced was due to take place in summer 2020. However, in discussion and agreement with Oxfordshire CCG, we have brought this forward slightly in response to the current pandemic.

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"We believe by merging the practices sooner, we can put in place additional measures to better support Horsefair Surgery patients at this time.”

Helen Murphy, practice manager of Banbury Cross Health Centre, said: “The pressures on primary care have been increasing for a number of years and by bringing together the practices now, we will be able to offer a better, more sustainable service for all patients.

"For example, larger practices can provide improved access to a range of specialists such as physiotherapists, mental health nurses and advanced nurse practitioners.”

“The staff you see on a day-to-day basis will remain broadly the same and any changes to services will be gradual as the current restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic are amended or lifted.

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"Services will continue to be run across both the 1st and 2nd floors of South Bar House.”

“There will be a single telephone number for all patients to contact the practice (01295 256261). The same range of services will be available and we will be able to offer new services as these are developed.

"We have been working towards the planned merger for some time, but still have a lot to do in the coming weeks and months to make sure that the new combined service works smoothly, and we will continue to involve our patient groups in future development of the practice.

“We would like to thank all our patients for their support and understanding during these challenging times.”

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Julie Dandridge, head of primary care at Oxfordshire CCG, said: “The merger of Banbury Cross Health Centre and Horsefair Surgery demonstrates a new way of working in the north of Oxfordshire.

"Working together, we have developed a more sustainable service in the town which can meet the challenges facing the health service both now during the current pandemic and in the years to come."

Dr Stephen Haynes, lead GP at Banbury Cross Health Centre, said: “As a practice, we put patient care at the centre of everything we do. It is a challenging time for primary care and GPs are being encouraged to improve efficiency, which can be really difficult to do when you are running a single GP practice, because you still need much of the same support as a larger business.

“By coming together with Horsefair Surgery which operates from the same building and under the same management, we will be able to integrate our services to further improve the quality of our care for our patients and provide a safe and supportive environment for our staff to work in.”

*A message from the Banbury Guardian Editor:

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