Health providers merge into new Banbury GP

Banbury Health Centre
Banbury Health Centre

West Bar Surgery and Banbury Health Centre officially become one next week, a move which will enable a greater range of patient services and more opportunities for expansion.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Principal Medical Ltd (PML) announced today the launch of the new Banbury Cross Health Centre.

The merger of Banbury Health Centre and West Bar Surgery will become official on Monday, September 16.

The new practice will operate from the existing sites and existing staff will be retained, improving efficiency by consolidating back office and support functions

Andrew Elphick, PML chief executive, said: “We are really pleased to be bringing West Bar Surgery together with Banbury Health Centre, to make a new combined practice: Banbury Cross Health Centre, and to have done it in a way that offers the most sustainable outcome possible for local patients.

“The new practice that will come out of this merger will be one business operating on multiple sites, which is not uncommon in primary care these days.

"We have a lot to do in the coming weeks and months to make sure that the new combined service has all the necessary processes in place, and we will continue to work closely with patient groups to gain input.”

In preparation existing patients at Banbury Health Centre have been sent letters explaining they will not need to take any action as they will automatically be registered with the main practice. However, all patients have the option to register with another practice if they wish.

Julie Dandridge, head of primary care at Oxfordshire CCG, said: “The launch of Banbury Cross Health Centre demonstrates how a new way of working in primary care is being delivered in the north of Oxfordshire.

We have developed a more sustainable service in the town which can meet the challenges facing the health service in the years to come.

“Primary care in Oxfordshire, in line with the rest of the country remains under pressure from a shortage of GPs, more demand on services from an increasing population with fewer funding resources.

"To meet these challenges we are commissioning health services that are run at scale.

She added: "This allows clinicians like GPs and other health professionals such as nurses, pharmacists and social prescribers to provide a wider range of services to a bigger patient population to improve care.”

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.

"However, 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 Banbury Health Centre as a new entity, we will be able to integrate our services to further improve the quality of our care for our patients and provide a safe supportive environment for our staff to work.”

From Monday, September 16, the practice will have a single phone number, 01295 256261 and a new website will be available from Saturday, September 14.

Essential work on the computer systems is taking place until Monday morning (September 16).

Consequently, the practice is asking patients not to attend the normal walk in surgery at South Bar House (formerly West Bar Surgery) – this will run from 1pm instead on September 16 and will be open to all patients, including those from Bridge Street (formerly Banbury Health Centre).