Two Isle of Wight surgeries in the Bay area are set to merge.

Shanklin Medical Centre and Sandown Health Centre will become a new combined practice from April 1.

Merger plans were approved by NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for planning primary care services across the Island.

The two practices have a combined registered list of more than 24,000 patients.

GP partners say the move will help the long-term sustainability of both practices and also offer opportunities to improve services at a time when they have been increasingly working more closely.

Dr Hugh Trowell, from Sandown Health Centre, said:

“Both practices already work closely together. We share the same vision of healthcare for our patients and we strongly believe that our merger will help us build on our existing services to the wide patient community we service.

“Our patients will benefit from being able to access services at both existing sites, where appropriate.

“The two practices firmly believe in continuity of care and will be maintaining registered lists with each GP. We also aim to review ‘on the day’ demand and visiting services to ensure acute needs can be managed effectively and giving faster access to the appropriate services. We believe this is excellent news for our patients.”

Dr Simon Giles, from Shanklin Medical Centre, said:

“The merged practice will encourage access to health services through wider use of technology, including an updated website, online ordering of repeat prescriptions, online booking of appointments, e-consultations and health advice.

“Patients will also benefit from more robust business continuity if any event impacts one of the sites. That said, we are firmly committed to retaining both sites – and there are no threats to any jobs, either clinical or clerical.”

The merged practice will continue to be open during core hours (8am to 6.30pm).

Both sites will also be providing extended hours/advance access outside of core hours on various days.

The NHS said patient representatives have been consulted about the move, and the practices have produced a Questions/Answers factsheet for patients that is available on their websites and by hard copy in the practices. They have also set up a designated email address for patient comments – [email protected] – and there will also be a comments box in both practices.

Earlier this summer, the CCG announced the formal mergers of Carisbrooke Medical Centre and the Dower House Surgery, Newport, from October 1 this year – and Ventnor Medical Centre and Grove House Surgery, Ventnor, from April 1, 2020.