Dear Patients

From January 1st 2018, the partners of Cedar House Surgery and Lakeside Healthcare Group are delighted to announce that they will be working together as a single ‘GP Super-Practice’ to supply NHS services to the patients of St. Neots. It is important to note that we remain a traditional GP partnership, upholding all the values of traditional family doctor services, only bigger.

This is very exciting news for all patients and staff as it ensures sustainability and continuity of NHS service provision in our region, as well as terrific opportunities for future growth.

Over the months since we announced our intention to merge, there has been a great deal of behind the scenes activity. We have reviewed processes, policies, operating procedures, and many more things.  There is still a little more to finalise over the next few days, but 1st January will be the first day of service provision and joint-working for the new organisation. From that date you will see staff in new uniforms and there will be some new ‘branding’.

One of the key things that it is important for us to stress to you, our patients, is that this joining-up of practices is an opportunity to build something bigger, better and more effective for the people we see, treat and serve. It is a hugely positive move for us all and puts us all in a very strong position for the years to come.

We would like to reassure patients that you will still be able to access services, staff and clinics in the same way that you have become accustomed to in recent years. There are no plans to move patients or staff or to introduce materially different working practices. For example, existing staff in St. Neots will not be asked to move to anywhere else in the Group. The same applies to all locations. And obviously patients will still be registered at their own practice.

Each of the individual practices in the Lakeside Healthcare Group already delivers high quality healthcare services to their patients. This proposed merger will give us the opportunity to deliver truly excellent healthcare services to across a broader geography. We will do this by taking the very best things that we do individually and gradually introduce those ideas to the expanded organisation.

In this way we shall all benefit:

  • our patients from a high quality, consistent service that is safe and effective;
  • our staff from being part of a bigger organisation that shall be more financially sustainable and able to offer greater training and employment opportunities;
  • our commissioners (those who buy our services on behalf of patients) from the wider range of services that can be provided more cost-effectively out of hospital.

You will have read in the national press over recent months that the NHS is facing a lean and challenging financial future. Health economies across the NHS have to think about how money can be saved and in many instances they are contemplating cutting services and jobs and closing practices. It is this that we intend to avoid by this merger. Our future is largely down to us - what we do and how we do it, but with the key goal of preserving and enhancing great care to our patients.

We believe we can develop a different, better solution by becoming bigger. Our solution is to expand GP primary care services and to be able to see and treat more patients in a community setting.

Lakeside Healthcare has already been singled out nationally for its strategic vision and has been appointed as one of only 14 national Multispecialty Community Provider ‘Vanguard’ sites by NHS England.

Being bigger will allow us to do a number of things:

  • Offer a greater range of services, including more minor surgical services and outpatient services and offer a different service to the very many patients we have with multiple long term conditions
  • Partner our local hospitals as equals and develop care packages that relieve much of the growing pressure on hospitals;
  • Allow us to win more contracts to provide different services, thereby increasing our collective revenues which in turn will allow us to invest more in people, premises and equipment;
  • Look at expanding our teaching and training services and our research & development services with local universities and other bodies.
  • Take direct control of future budgets as an ‘Accountable Care Organisation’

We would like to reassure any patients who are concerned about what this proposed merger means for them, please note that:

  • Our surgery will remain largely as it is
  • Your treatment will be the same as previously

Going forwards we plan to be able to offer patients:

  • More services in our surgery, rather than in hospital
  • Potentially a better, more reliable home visiting service
  • A different package of care for our patients with long term conditions
  • A better, more joined-up link with social care services
  • A more responsive service to cater for their needs

If you have any questions at all please contact us and we shall be happy to discuss this exciting next stage of development for primary care services in our expanded region.

Dr Robin Baxter – Senior Partner

Sarah Parren – Practice Manager

Published: Jan 1, 2018