We would like to inform our patients that Dr Chalmers, a partner at Portland Medical Practice, has suffered a serious accident which will result in him being away from surgery for several months. Therefore there may be times when shortages of appointments occur. The GP's would appreciate your understanding during this time.
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Patient Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Will there be any changes to either surgery’s opening times?
No. Both sites will be open between 8:00am and 6:30pm, Monday to Friday. Extended access will continue to be offered at the Portland site.
Q. Will I still be able to make appointments at my usual surgery?
We will continue to provide a GP service from both sites. Depending on availability of appointments you may be asked to attend at either site.
Q. Will I still be able to see my usual doctor or nurse?
Yes you will. All staff and partners (whether clinical or not) will be based at their original site but will be able to work across both sites to cover for absence for annual leave and sickness. This will help reduce reliance on employing more expensive Locum or bank staff.
Q. Will the practice boundaries change?
No – the current boundaries will remain the same.
Q. Will there be changes to the way I book appointments?
No, you will continue to be able to book appointments as you do now, either online or by the telephone. Portland Medical Practice offer a serviced called Patient Partner, where patients can use the telephone to make appointments when the practice is closed; this would be available for The Witham Patients also. We will continue to recall those patients that require scheduled vaccinations, chronic disease reviews or for participation in routine screening programmes (smears, diabetic eye checks etc).
Q. Will there be any changes to how I access the GP out of hour’s service?
No, in order to access a GP when the Practice is closed, you will still need to telephone the NHS 111 service and they will either signpost you to the most appropriate service or arrange for you to access a GP.
Q. Will I need to re-register to remain on the Practice list?
Will my health records be transferred? No, all patients will automatically be transferred onto the new, merged practice list under the name of ‘Portland Medical Practice’ and your health records will remain at your original Practice site. The only way your registration will change, will be if you choose to register yourself at a different Practice.
Q. Will this affect any treatment or medication I am currently receiving either at the GP practice or any hospital?
No – Any patient’s current treatments, medications or any investigations that they are receiving from any hospital or other secondary care provider should be unaffected, by the merger.
Q. What is the anticipated timescale for the merger?
Following the initial 45 day consultation period your feedback will be analysed and discussed with NHS England and our local CCG. If the merger is approved patients will be given 90 days notice before the actual merger date. Following this the Witham Practice will formally close. Services will continue to be provided from Portland main site and the Portland branch site at Newland Health Centre.