Three primary care practices in south east Northumberland have merged to create the largest family doctor-led medical group in the North East.
The Wellway, Lintonville and Brockwell Medical Groups have joined forces to create Valens Medical Partnership, which now looks after the healthcare needs of around 50,000 people.
All of their eight existing premises – in Cramlington, Seaton Sluice, Seaton Delaval, Ashington, Morpeth, Newbiggin, Pegswood, and Lynemouth – are remaining open.
The new practice, which is led by 18 GP partners, has about 200 people working across these sites.
It has been created to widen the range of services available to patients, make it easier for them to access specialist care and take advantage of opportunities available to larger-scale practices under the developing NHS primary care management regime.
The merger was made possible by funding from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, which also provided specialist financial advice tailored to the individual practices.
Michaela Green, group director at Valens Medical Partnership, said: “On a day-to-day basis, it’s very much business as usual. Our patients will still see the same GPs in the same locations, but they now have access to a much wider range of primary care expertise and will see the services that we are able to provide increase in the coming months.
“We’ve taken the time to look at how other larger-scale practices in England operate and have co-opted the best of the working practices and administrative arrangements into the way that our partnership will deliver care to our patients.”
RMT Accountants & Business Advisors and Sintons Law Firm worked with the three practices on the logistical side of the merger, which had been under discussion for more than a year.