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Merger – Sollershott Surgery and Birchwood Surgery, Letchworth Garden City

We are pleased to announce that, from 1st April 2024, Sollershott Surgery and Birchwood Surgery in Letchworth Garden City will be merging to work as one GP Practice.

The new joint Practice will be called The Birchwood and Sollershott Surgeries.

Both surgery sites will remain open.

Why are we merging?

12PointCare have been delivering patient services at Sollershott Surgery since July 2018 under a time-limited NHS contract which means it is subject to open tender from alternative providers of Primary Care services around every five years.  This contract has reached the end of its current period.

At the same time, since October 2018, 12PointCare have been delivering Enhanced Access Services at Sollershott Surgery – enhanced access means weekday evenings and Saturday routine appointments. These have been for our patients and those of neighbouring North Hertfordshire GP practices.

Since December 2022, 12PointCare have also been delivering patient services at Birchwood Surgery in Letchworth under a long-term NHS contract.  This contract is not time-limited and has no defined end date.

The merger can happen now following agreement with Herts and West Essex Integrated Care Board (HWEICB) – the NHS organisation that plans and oversees how NHS money is spent in our area – and NHS England (NHSE).

We are delighted that HWEICB has now afforded us this opportunity to merge Sollershott Surgery into Birchwood Surgery’s long-term NHS contract.  It means 12PointCare can continue running Sollershott Surgery and the Enhanced Access Service in the same way, alongside the larger Birchwood Surgery; this provides greater stability for patients in our community and our dedicated teams of clinical and administrative staff.

Most importantly, the delivery of existing primary health care services at each practice has been secured and the long-term nature of the single NHS contract means we can further strengthen and develop our patient services over time.

What will this merger mean for you as a patient?

Our patients will not need to take any action as a result of this administrative NHS Contract change.

The merger of our two practices is exciting and gives us stability for the future.  This helps us better respond to the ever-changing landscape of primary care. In reality, there will be little change for patients on a day-to-day basis.

With both practices already working closely together, we believe that the merger will be beneficial for patients.  We will have a wider range of health professionals to support patients and be more resilient to changes in the health care needs of our local community.

We will be working hard over the next few months to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.  There will be some minor, short-term disruption as both GP practices will be closed on the afternoon of Tuesday, 9th April 2024 to allow the computer systems to be merged.  In advance of this, we’ll tell you what to do if you need access to urgent medical care on the afternoon of the clinical system merge.

Will you still be able to see your usual healthcare professional?

We expect that the vast majority of patients will attend their usual surgery site and be able to see a GP, nurse, healthcare assistant, pharmacist or other healthcare professional in the same way they do now.

Whilst you will continue to receive primary healthcare at your usual surgery, you will have the choice to go to an appointment at either surgery, as appropriate, providing you with more flexibility.  Other than this more flexible and improved access, we do not anticipate this change to affect the services available to you at either of the GP practices.

Will there be any new services on offer?

We have different health professionals at both practices so it may be the case that we offer, for example, contraceptive coil fitting or minor surgery more widely to more patients.

In the future, we may also further develop new specialist services (e.g. physiotherapy or mental health services) and might sometimes offer these from one of the two surgery sites.

To keep up to date with the latest information on the merger, please refer to your usual practice’s website and if you don’t access the internet, there’ll be information available in the surgeries.

Thank you for your continued support of the work that all of our primary care team provide to our patient community.

With kind regards

The Directors of 12PointCare and the Doctors and Staff at Sollershott Surgery and Birchwood Surgery

GP Pharmacists

August 2019

As part of an NHS England Scheme, 12PointCare GP Federation employs 5 pharmacists who are in positions across North Hertfordshire.

Clinical pharmacists work as part of the general practice team to improve value and outcomes from medicines and consult with and treat patients directly. This includes providing extra help to manage long-term conditions, advice for those on multiple medicines and better access to health checks. The role is pivotal to improving the quality of care and ensuring patient safety.

Having clinical pharmacists in GP practices means that GPs can focus their skills where they are most needed, for example on diagnosing and treating patients with more complex conditions. This helps GPs to manage the demands on their time.

Sollershott Surgery – GP Training Practice

We are proud to announce that Sollershott Surgery in Letchworth has gained approval as a Training Practice in July 2019.

This allows the surgery to host qualified doctors, known as GP Registrars, and support them in completing the final stages of their GP Training before they embark on fully independent practice.

We believe that achieving and maintaining training practice status enhances the quality of the medical care that we provide at Sollershott Surgery. It also enables patients to see a wider range of clinicians whilst allowing the surgery to benefit from the fresh ideas and approaches brought by young enthusiastic doctors.

Patients can, of course, still elect to see their chosen regular doctor but sometimes this may require them to plan their appointment.

On occasion, patients may be invited to give their consent for the GP Registrar to video the consultation. This is a valuable tool helping the doctor to improve his/her consulting skills. The tapes once viewed by the trainer will be deleted.

Our GP Trainer at Sollershott Surgery is Dr Agnieszka Rzadzinska-Prosser (also Lead GP at Sollershott Surgery).

Extended Access Update – August 2018

12PointCare have been awarded the Extended Access Contract due to commence in September 2018. We are still seeking expressions of interest from GPs, Nurses, HCAs and Receptionists to fill the various weekday evening and weekend shifts. All support gratefully received!

For further details or to express your interest, please contact Jenny Walsh, Federation Manager at jenny.walsh@12pc.co.uk in the first instance or Dr Alastair Cruickshank, Director: alastair.cruickshank@12pc.co.uk.

Extended Access 2018 – New for Autumn 2018

12PointCare has been granted funding by the East & North Herts CCG for the delivery of extended clinical consulting hours in its locality from Autumn 2018.

The service will provide a weekday provision of pre-bookable and same day appointments between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. There will also be weekend appointments on Saturdays and Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Offering extended access to the registered patients of the North Herts locality involves GP Practices coming together to provide services on a HUB basis and not at individual Practices. The new HUB will be based at Sollershott Surgery, Letchworth Garden City.

Sollershott Surgery, Letchworth Garden City

We are pleased to announce that 12PointCare have been successful in the tender process to take over the APMS contract to provide GP Services at Sollershott Surgery in Letchworth with effect from 1st July 2018. The awarded contract is for three years, with an option for NHSE and the CCG to extend for an additional two years thereafter.

We are delighted to have been awarded this contract. We look forward to working with our member practices alongside the existing practice team to support the provision of high quality services to the patients registered at Sollershott Surgery.

In addition, we strongly believe that the holding of this contract will greatly improve the ability of 12PointCare to support all of its practices and patients, by increasing the viability of additional locality wide schemes such as the employment of practice-based pharmacists or the provision of extended GP access.

Winter 2017-2018

For the third year in succession, 12PointCare successfully provided additional GP and nursing appointments for North Hertfordshire patients via its member Practices as part of the Locality Winter Resilience Scheme. This scheme covered the period 1 October 2017 – 15 April 2018.

GP Practices received a pro-rata share of the available funds offered by the East and North Herts CCG and were required to submit a monthly audit to demonstrate the extra capacity provided.  Between its member Practices, 12PointCare are pleased to have delivered a total of:

  • 7,554 additional patient appointments during core surgery hours (Monday – Friday 8am – 6.30pm)
  • 1,335 additional patient appointments outside of core surgery hours (including weekends)
  • 63 additional Care Home ward rounds