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Ipswich GP surgery with more than 7,000 patients saved from closure

PUBLISHED: 11:41 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:41 05 June 2020

The Deben Road Surgery in Ipswich has been saved from closure. Pictured from left to right are Dr Balaji Donepudi, Dr Susan Smith, administrator Rebecca Frost, nurse practitioner Vicki Kemp, salaried GP Moira Pinkney, receptionist Paula Self and practice operations manager Chrystal Maskall. Picture: SUFFOLK PRIMARY CARE

The Deben Road Surgery in Ipswich has been saved from closure. Pictured from left to right are Dr Balaji Donepudi, Dr Susan Smith, administrator Rebecca Frost, nurse practitioner Vicki Kemp, salaried GP Moira Pinkney, receptionist Paula Self and practice operations manager Chrystal Maskall. Picture: SUFFOLK PRIMARY CARE

Archant

Ipswich’s Deben Road Surgery, which has more than 7,000 patients on its books, has been saved from potential closure.

The doctors’ surgery in the west of the town had been left with only one GP partner after a number of departures in the past year.

That ultimately made the practice “unsustainable” and meant it was facing closure.

However, a new partnership formed between Deben Road Surgery and Suffolk Primary Care’s Chesterfield Drive and Norwich Road practices has saved it from closure.

The three surgeries will now serve a total of 30,250 patients, merging the three primary care contracts.

The three practices had already been working closely together ahead of a planned move to a purpose-built site on the former Tooks Bakery site, in Old Norwich Road, in 2022.

Paul Brown, chief executive officer at Suffolk Primary Care, said: “One of the key aims of Suffolk Primary Care, from the very beginning, has been to make general practice more sustainable and ensure people in Suffolk have access to high-quality care near their homes.

“Deben Road has been performing really well, despite the staffing challenges – it was rated as ‘good’ in December.

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“We are delighted we’ve been able to save the surgery for patients because we’ve built the practice ownership and management structures to do that.

“And we have also offered a new role to the remaining Deben Road GP partner.

“We’re able to look after the patients and look after the staff, which is what Suffolk Primary Care is for.”

Patients registered with Deben Road are advised to continue to contact the surgery as normal.

Care navigators answering the call will determine whether patients should be booked in with the “on the day” team at Deben Road, an alternative clinic at Chesterfield Drive or Norwich Road, or be directed to another service such as a pharmacy.

The “on the day” team will be staffed from GPs across all three practices. They will continue to coordinate home visits which will be undertaken by a team of practice paramedics, supported by GPs as necessary.

Ipswich’s Derby Road Practice was the latest to join Suffolk Primary Care earlier this year, bringing more than 125,000 patients under the care of the group.


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