Meeting Sat 26 Nov: Proposed Merger of Herne Hill Group Practice

Herne Hill Group Practice have called a public meeting this Saturday, 26 November at 10.15am at Jubilee Hall, Tulse Hill Estate , SW2 2LY.

The GP surgery at 74 Herne Hill (though entrance on Kestral Avenue) is looking to bring in patients and staff from Brixton Water Lane Surgery (BWL), to become a larger practice.

Here is information from their flyer promoting the consultation:

The meeting is an opportunity for the practice to tell you why it is proposing the merger and how

this might affect you as a registered patient. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions. This is

the first meeting and we expect there to be more over the course of the next couple of months.


• Why has the practice decided to merge with another practice?

General Practice has been receiving less funding from NHS England despite increasing contractual

demands. The Practice is committed to ensuring that in the long term we can continue to provide

our patient population with a high-quality service and that whilst the practice is currently financially

sustainable this may change in the long term.

The decision to merge has not been taken lightly and we will future proof our plans.

• Does the merger have the support of NHS England and Lambeth CCG?

The practice has discussed its plans with NHS England and Lambeth CCG both of whom are

supportive. We are currently working on a draft Business Plan that is to be submitted to NHS

England by the 30.11.2016. The practice needs your views to assist the formulation of this plan. The

final plan is required by NHS England on the 15.01.2017. The plan would anticipate the merger to be

completed by 31.03.2017 ready for the financial year 2017/2108.

• Will the merger mean that I cannot see the GP of my choice?

No, you will still be able to book an appointment with the clinician of your choice. The merger will

mean that there are additional GP’s working at the practice. 2 experienced GP partners will join the

HHGP Partnership along with a possible 3 salaried GP’s. The HHGP Partners and Salaried GP’s will not

change in the short term. However, there are GP Partners that will be considering retirement within

the next 2 to 5 years. This merger will ensure that our service does not suffer because of individual

retirement plans at a time when GP’s are extremely hard to recruit.

It is worth adding that we already work closely with BWL along with others practices within our

South East Lambeth Federation so knowledge of local health services and patterns of work are very


• How many patients are currently registered at HHGP and BWL?

There are currently 10140 patients registered with HHGP and 6451 patients registered with BWL.

Initially all patients will be transferred over the HHGP. However, individual patients may decide that

the HHGP site is not a suitable option for them and may register at an alternative local practice. The

patients at BWL will be given information that will aid their decision on where they wish to register.

• Will the staff at BWL come to work at HHGP?

Yes, all BWL staff will be subject to TUPE rules, this means that their contracts will be transferred to

HHGP and their terms and conditions will remain the same.

• How will you ensure that there is enough clinical capacity to deal with the needs of all


Practices are contractually obliged to ensure that the clinical ratio is adequate for the number of

patients registered with the practice. The practice would ensure that this is audited on a regular

basis to maintain the required ratio.

• How will you address the issues raised in the BWL CQC report?

BWL in conjunction with NHS England and Lambeth CCG have completed an action plan in response

to their recent CQC report. They have already taken steps to resolve some of the issues highlighted

in the report. Some of the issues raised relate to their building, which is an unsuitable Grade 11

listed building. These issues will be resolved by moving to HHGP which is a much more suitable DDA

compliant building.

HHGP has strong clinical and administrative leadership team and we are confident that the merged

practice will maintain a service that addresses patients’ needs and improves patient outcomes.

• I can’t make the meeting this Saturday, how can I give my views and ensure my feedback is

included in the Business Plan ?

We acknowledge that the first meeting is very short notice and not everybody will be able to come.

All patient communication received by email, feedback form or verbally will be included within the

business plan. Although the first draft is required by 30.11.2016, the final version will be submitted

15.01.2017. This gives plenty of time for the practice to organise an additional meeting if required

and collect patient views and feedback.