Sheffield health bosses agree merger for Stannington Medical Centre with Walkley House practice

Two Sheffield GP practices are set to merge, after NHS officials gave their backing to the plans, despite some patients raising concerns.

Monday, 27th June 2022, 1:45 pm
Updated Monday, 27th June 2022, 1:45 pm

Sheffield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group’s primary care commissioning committee has agreed plans to merge Stannington Medical Centre with the Walkley House practice, following the retirement of Dr David Shurmer, who had run Stannington Medical Centre, in January.

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Walkley House already had a practice in the same building on Upper Gate Road, Stannington, as well as on Greenhow Street in Walkley.

Sheffield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group’s primary care commissioning committee has agreed plans to merge Stannington Medical Centre, pictured, with the Walkley House practice, following the retirement of GP Dr David Shurmer, who had run Stannington Medical Centre for 29 years, in January.

Some of Dr Shurmer’s patients raised concerns about the change – but committee members felt this would be the case whoever took over the practice, where patients reported very high levels of satisfaction, and where Dr Shurmer had held the contract for 29 years.

Abigail Tebbs, deputy director of primary care at the CCG, said: “I think it's fair to say that there are some concerns from patients who were formerly registered at Stannington Medical Centre that are reflective of how Dr Shurmer’s practice operated previously.

"I think that Dr Shurmer’s patients, because it was a single handed practice, experienced an unusually high degree of continuity of GP and also an exceptionally high degree of access and I think it’s probably worth saying that, while those are very valid concerns, that that would decline.

"The impact of Walkley House taking over this practice, as opposed to any other practice, it's not different with Walkley House taking over this practice as opposed to any other practice.

“Walkley House actually does quite well on the GP patients survey, in terms of experience and access, so it's not specific to this practice.”

She said the CCG had been working with the practice towards opening until 6pm every day, which was the direction of travel it was supporting.

No buildings will be closed, and no jobs will be lost, and some patients said in consultation that more doctors and services would be a positive for Stannington Medical Centre patients.

The CCG heard the practices have been undergoing a transition in preparation for formal merger request, and heard following the merger, patients currently registered at Stannington Medical Centre would have access to an extended range of services and extended opening hours.

Both practices were rated good by CQC at their last inspection.