Norfolk Park Medical Practice has made the difficult decision to propose a merger with Dovercourt Group Practice, closing the Norfolk Park site and relocating to Dovercourt Surgery and the branch site, Manor Top Medical Centre.

We are currently working as a 2 partner team at Norfolk Park, following a retirement, and have been trying to recruit a new GP partner for a long time. Like many practices in Sheffield and nationally, we have been unable to do so due to a national shortage of doctors.

GP partners are ultimately responsible for everything relating to the practice, ranging from clinical work to all decisions about service provision. We feel it is not sustainable to run the practice as a two partner team in the future as we do not have enough doctors to continue to provide a safe and robust service. Any unplanned period of doctor absence would put the practice in a perilous position.

Therefore, to protect the quality of services and the long term future of the practice for our patients, we feel the only viable option is for Norfolk Park Medical Practice to merge with Dovercourt Group Practice and close the surgery at Norfolk Park Health Centre as it would not be affordable to keep it open. The practice would relocate to neighbouring practice Dovercourt Surgery and the branch site, Manor Top Medical Centre giving our patients choice of which site is most accessible to them. This proposal has not been made lightly and the wellbeing of patients remains our absolute priority.

We already work very closely with Dovercourt Group Practice as part of a primary care network. This merger gives us, your current GPs, the opportunity to continue to care for our patients whilst giving you the best service we can provide, and guaranteeing continuity of care for you in any eventuality. Rest assured you would still be able to maintain your relationship with your current GP.

If it goes ahead, the merger would ensure that we would be able to offer continued high standards of healthcare in the long term, providing increased access to care with extended opening hours and enhanced services e.g. contraception services, at Dovercourt and Manor Top. There will be a larger practice team with a variety of health professionals available to see alongside your GP. It is a long term vision to further develop and expand the premises at Dovercourt Surgery so that all the services that are needed within modern healthcare can be offered on one site. This may mean that a future proposal to close Manor Top Medical Centre could be made.

Both practices have a tremendous practice team who have worked very hard together to deliver the best possible care to patients despite recent challenges. Our teams would come together to continue to provide the best care across the Dovercourt and Manor Top sites. The recent GP survey confirms the excellent patient care both practices are providing, and this would continue as we work together.

If the surgery at Norfolk Park closes, patients would automatically be registered with Dovercourt Group Practice, but could choose to register at another practice in the city if that’s more convenient.

Before any decision is made, however, we want to know how, you, our patients might be impacted by this change. A formal consultation about the proposed closure of Norfolk Park Medical Practice and merger with Dovercourt Group Practice will take place over 12 weeks, ending on 4 August 2021. The purpose of the consultation is to understand and consider the views of our patients and stakeholders on the proposal and understand more fully what the impacts of the change could be so that we can make the best decision for our patients and the practice.

We welcome all your views.