TWO GP surgeries have merged — the first of several similar mergers planned on the Isle of Wight.

The merger of Carisbrooke Health Centre and the Dower House Surgery, Newport, was announced in May.

They have now officially joined together under one name — Newport Health Centre.

Both sites will remain open and there have been no job losses.

Health bosses at the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said the move would ensure services were sustainable in the long term.

The partners at the new-look surgery said the merger was in the best interest of patients as they would be able to access a larger pool of clinical skills and staffing resources.

Dower House GP Dr Tim Whelan said: “Together, our two practices will be much stronger to face the future challenges that lie ahead for primary care services — and help us plan ahead for the new primary care networks that are being introduced across the country.”

Carisbrooke GP Dr Judith Moore said: “This is a good news story for patients. While some of our specialist clinics may only be available at one site, in general our patients will in future have greater choice by choosing which medical centre they attend."

Alison Smith, the CCG’s managing director, said: “The face of primary care is changing across the country, not just on the Island, with practices either merging — or working more closely together in Primary Care Networks — so they can continue to offer the best possible health services to the communities that they serve.”

Cllr John Nicholson, who chairs the Isle of Wight Council's policy and scrutiny committee for adult social care and health, said: “We support this initiative, seeing it as a wholly constructive and progressive step, one in which everyone stands to gain from improved services, resources and resilience.

“This is certainly a pattern that we would wish to encourage and demonstrates a level of positive engagement within the service that is both refreshing and reassuring.”

Two other mergers are planned for next year — between Ventnor Medical Centre and Grove House Surgery, Ventnor, and between Shanklin Medical Centre and Sandown Health Centre.

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