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Thetford and Watton doctors surgeries team up to improve health services

PUBLISHED: 10:52 08 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:44 08 December 2016

Watton Medical Practice.

Watton Medical Practice.

Doctors surgeries in Thetford and Watton are to join forces to improve services across both towns.

Doctors and nurses from the Grove and School Lane surgeries in Thetford and the Watton Medical Practice will work across all three to offer more services and appointment slots.

Behind-the-scenes activities including finance and IT will also be managed together as part of the Breckland Alliance initiative, which builds on 18 months of joint working between the surgeries.

Other systems - including how appointments at Watton are made - will be reviewed.

Patients have reported long wait times for appointments at all three surgeries, with hopes the scheme will ease pressure on struggling GPs.

Dr Devendra Mahatme, a GP partner at Watton Medical Practice, said: “The practice at Watton has been under pressure for a couple of years and we are very grateful to our patients for bearing with us. We are confident this plan will see our services improve.

“This initiative will strengthen the surgery at Watton and we hope to lay firm foundations for the recruitment of more staff with a range of specialist skills, to improve the quality of service to patients.

“In the longer term we hope to introduce new services and give people in Watton and Thetford local access to treatments they may now have to travel to hospital to receive.”

Dr Andy Mollan, from Grove surgery in Thetford, added: “Bringing our three practices to work together more closely gives us a scale which allows us to innovate in a way that hasn’t been possible when operating as three separate practices.

“We now have a larger group of patients to serve and a larger budget with which to do it. That allows us to invest in our staff and recruit new members of the team to work across the three practices.”

The Breckland Alliance has worked closely with the NHS South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Antek Lejk, the CCG’s chief officer, said: “We are delighted these three practices have come together to sustain the delivery of pimary care in Watton and the surrounding areas and help support the population by working towards delivering the right care in the right place for patients.”

• Do you have a health story for us? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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