Merger of Fieldhead Surgery and Craven Road Medical Practice

Posted by: lisaboardman - Posted on:


Thank you for everyone that took the time to complete our survey.

Leeds CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) approved the Practice application to merge and from 1st July, Fieldhead Surgery became abranch site of Craven Road Medical Practice.

It will take a little while before all the necessary paperwork is completed and the next stage will be the merger of the clinical system database which will take place on 2nd November 2021. Once this is complete, it will be easier for patients to be seen at another site if that is what they prefer.

The majority of patients who completed the survey were supportive of the merger though there were some reservations which we have tried to answer below:

  1. Will I still be able to see my own GP? Will they be moved to other surgeries which might make it more difficult for me to get to?

All patients will still be able to see a GP of their choice. We do not intend to move any GP’s main place of work. They will continue to move occasionally to provide cover for holidays and sickness cover if needed.

2. I think this is just about reducing services and saving money

We do not intend to close or reduce service at any of the sites. We have had to run some services from Craven Road Medical Centre whilst the building work at Fieldhead has been undertaken (specifically flu and covid vaccines because of the need for social distancing) but intend that these will be provided at Fieldhead once the work is fully complete.

Working together allows us to provide cover in emergencies and we have needed to rely on each other more during the pandemic period for both clinical and administrative staff and cover.

In terms of money, the cost of the building work at Fieldhead is extremely expensive and the Partners of the Practice have to fund a large proportion of this. The cost burden for the Fieldhead Partners would have been too large to fund on their own. Having a larger Partnership meant that we have been able to proceed with the work and build a new Surgery which should serve the community for many years to come.

3. Will waiting times increase?

The waiting times will not increase as a result of the merger. There will still be the same number of doctors available and appointments at each site.

There is a huge increase in demand however as a result of the pandemic, especially for people waiting for operations and hospital appointments who are experiencing a backlog. We ask you to bear with us whilst we try to do our very best to help.

The Practice is given a fixed budget to pay for staff and doctors and although demand increases year on year, the budget we receive does not increase in line with this. Our GP’s already see more patients per clinic than many other surgeries.

We are however able to access new staff types such as pharmacists and physiotherapists which should also help us to manage the increases we are seeing.


The Practices are seeking to merge together our contracts and are seeking feedback from patients on the proposals.

You can complete our survey to find out more information and give your feedback.

We have also created a list of frequently asked questions that we will keep up to date as we receive your feedback.

1. Why are you merging? If there is the same number of doctors how will it be better? Is this just to save money?

The proposed merger is not driven by an attempt to save money.  We have essentially been working as one Practice for the past ten years so this will help to reduce the need to duplicate some of our administrative contractual requirements.  We have been working this way as historically we had difficulties in recruiting salaried GPs and nurses (including practice nurses, minor illness nurses and nurse practitioners) and we found that GPs are unwilling to become partners due to the considerable responsibilities of, and investment required in, being a business owner. This was unsustainable and as a larger practice we have been able to offer a wider range of opportunities to prospective partners and salaried GPs, including the opportunity for career progression which, as smaller individual partnerships, we could not offer. This in turn has helped to secure the continued provision of primary medical services to our population.

2. How will this affect the present service? Will it be more efficient? 

If we merge then it will mean that patients will be able to attend whichever of the three practice premises is most convenient to them. The current range of services offered by the practices will be maintained, as long as NHS England and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) continue to commission them from us.

3. Can I keep the doctor that I have at present?


4. Will the hours of opening remain the same as at now?


5. What about emergency cover? Will this be the same or improve?

Cover outside the opening hours will continue as at present. Patients who need medical services outside of GP opening hours should call NHS 111. NHS 111 is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is free to call from a landline or mobile phone. Calling 111 will connect you to a team of fully trained advisers who are supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, and give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you to the most appropriate and available local service. They can make you an appointment with an out of hours GP if needed. If an ambulance is required the NHS 111 call adviser will arrange for one to be sent immediately. This service is commissioned by NHS Leeds CCG.

6. What is the timescale envisaged for the merger?

We have asked NHS Leeds CCG to consider this merger and asked that it takes effect from 1st July 2021.  As there will be no reduction in patient services we think this timescale is feasible.

7. Will any of the current practice premises close?

No.  Fieldhead Surgery is currently having a long awaited extension and refurbishment due to be completed in September 2021.  The GP’s have just extended the lease on Craven Road Surgery for another 25 years and Holly Bank Surgery also has a lease for nearly 25 years.  We are hoping the merger will ensure the Practice is around for many years to come.

8.  How do you intend to keep everyone informed?

We will update this page with further information when it becomes available.  If there are any changes to our proposal or the merger does not happen, we will inform our registered patients by text or letter.