Two Blackpool GP practices officially merge - ending fears one of them could close

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Two Blackpool GP practices have completed their official merger.

Health chiefs in the resort agreed to Grange Park Health Centre and Bloomfield Medical Centre joining forces to secure the future of the one-GP Grange Park surgery, in Dinmore Avenue.

Grange Park Health Centre (top) and Bloomfield Medical Centre officially merged on Friday, November 1, 2019 (Pictures: Google)

Grange Park Health Centre (top) and Bloomfield Medical Centre officially merged on Friday, November 1, 2019 (Pictures: Google)

The move is understood to have been completed on Friday after first being announced in August.

Dr Maged Morcos from Grange Park Health Centre, who asked to terminate his NHS contract with three month's notice in June before Bloomfield stepped in, said previously: "As the sole partner of this practice, it was becoming more and more difficult for me to make it a viable business, so to receive the support of colleagues at Bloomfield is fantastic.

"This means we can continue to provide the service here and, in the long run, we can actually enhance what is available to patients coming for appointments at Grange Park Health Centre."

Talks were said to be ongoing with Muir Group Housing Association to "agree some upgrades" to the building as well as a "revised" lease, NHS documents showed.

The merger, which was "challenging" to get done before November 1, followed talks with Blackpool Clinical Commission Group (CCG), which is responsible for organising and paying for residents' health care.

Dr Ben Butler-Reid, clinical director at the CCG, said: "Our priority will always be the patients of GP practices across Blackpool, and we know Grange Park Health Centre offers an excellent service which is highly valued by local people."

The surgery was rated 'requires improvement' by the health industry watchdog Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an inspection in May.

"We were especially keen to make sure services could continue to be offered at the site and to have this agreement now in place is really good news," Dr Butler-Reid said.

And Dr Howard Brown from Bloomfield Medical Centre, which is rated 'good' by the CQC, added: "We are delighted to enter into a partnership with Dr Morcos and to have this opportunity to increase the services we offer across Blackpool.

"We have a number of registered patients who live closer to the Grange Park Health Centre so it could actually be more convenient for them to go there than to Bloomfield Road," where his practice is based.