Claremont Medical Practice join the Rolle Medical Partnership team




The Rolle Medical Partnership Team are expanding.

Like many GP practices and NHS services across the country, we have been struggling with staffing, access and continuing to provide the service in the way we would hope to due to increasing pressures and challenges. This has meant that over the last 12 months, we have had to think differently about how we run the service.

We explored the options to merge together. We already share a building and we have spent the last 30 years aligning ourselves as much as possible, where it made sense.

While considering the options, we heard from staff and patients about their thoughts and feelings on this, and tried to identify any potential impacts that a merge might have so we could plan accordingly and reduce any concerns people may have.

We have now made the decision to merge the two practices on 1st April 2024 and this has been approved by our commissioners, NHS Devon.

Patients of both practices don’t need to take any action and there shouldn’t be any disruption to the normal services we provide.

The Claremont team are currently shadowing and learning together with the Rolle team, planning for the formal joining of the two practices from 1st April 2024 in the form of a larger Rolle Medical Partnership team.

The larger Rolle team consists of local people who are all working together to provide the best services they can for our patients.

We expect the outcomes of the merger to be only positive for our patients, with access to appointments, over more sites and with more specialist care from a range of clinicians working within the wider team.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When will the proposed merger take place?

We are aiming to merge the practices on 1st April 2024

Will I still be able to make an appointment to see my usual doctor or nurse?

Yes. We very much value all of the one to one relationships our patients have with our doctors and nurses. It is therefore expected that merging practices will further increase our ability to provide you with continuity of care and access to your usual doctor and/or nurse.

We also expect to be able to reduce the need for locum doctors and provide you with a greater number of highly skilled local doctors and nurses in the event that your usual doctor or nurse is absent from work.

Will I still be able to make appointments to be seen at my usual doctor’s surgery?

Yes. We will continue to provide daily appointments to see doctors, nurses and healthcare support workers at your GP practice.

Will I be able to make appointments to see a doctor/nurse at the other sites?

As our plans fully develop, we expect that you will be able to request appointments with your doctor and/or nurse from either practice site, therefore providing you with greater access to a wider range of services and availability. We will regularly assess demand across both sites and look at where appointments are needed most.

Will my usual surgery opening times stay the same?

Yes. We are not currently anticipating any changes to our core opening times. We also expect to be able to improve and extend our opening times for all of our patients.

Will there be changes made to the way I book appointments?

No. We are not currently anticipating any changes to the way you book appointments and you will therefore continue to be able to book these in the same way as you do now.

As now, we will also continue to contact all of our patients who require scheduled vaccinations, chronic disease reviews or routine screening such as cervical screening tests.

Will I still ring the same number I always have and will I have the same access?

The telephone numbers will remain the same as Rolle Medical Partnership. We have a single telephone system for all sites. We are keen to keep existing numbers and make the system as simple for patients to use as possible. We will have enough phone lines and staff to support access for booking appointments.

What will be merged Practice be called? Will the name of my Practice change?

The organisation will be called Rolle Medical Partnership and the site names will remain the same, Treetops, Raleigh, Underhill and Exmouth Health Centre.

Will the current arrangements that I have in place for getting my medicines stay the same?

Yes. There are no changes anticipated at present and any future changes in process will be fully communicated to patients.

Will the intended merge affect any treatment or medication I am currently receiving either at my usual surgery or any hospital?

No. Any current treatments, medications, investigations and/or referrals will not be affected by our intentions to merge.

Will I need to re-register to become a patient of the single GP Practice? What will happen to my health records?

No, you will not need to re-register and we also anticipate that you will keep the same named GP you have now. All of our patients will automatically be merged into a single GP Practice and your health records will reside within a single patient database.

The NHS safeguards in relation to patient confidentiality of information will continue to remain in place throughout the transition.

Will the single GP Practice be able to provide new services to patients?

One of the main reasons to merge and form a larger practice is for us to be able to expand the services that we are able to provide locally. For example, we hope to be able to include access to see more healthcare professionals e.g. Paramedics, Advanced Nurse Prescribers and GP Assistants

How will the new arrangement benefit GPs and Nurses at the practice?

Our GPs, Nurses and Healthcare Support Workers will all have access to a wider pool of clinical knowledge and expertise to draw upon and we will have far greater opportunities to specialise in areas such as diabetes, care of the elderly, palliative care and urgent care access.

We also anticipate that the current level of administrative tasks our clinical staff performs will be dramatically reduced; therefore allowing more time to spend on responding to and delivering the clinical care our patients need.

We will also be able to better cover any planned or unplanned absences which we hope will alleviate the resulting pressures felt by remaining staff. In addition, we should also be able to reduce our reliance on expensive locum and bank staff.

We also anticipate that all of our staff will be provided with greater opportunities for enhanced training and career development.

Will any staff be made redundant?

No. All staff will continue to be employed as they are now. We are actually recruiting to ensure we have a full workforce covering all our sites.

Will patients have to wait longer for appointments?

No. On the contrary. As part of the merger we will be looking at appointments offered across all sites and plan for there to be more appointments and choice for patients. With a more varied workforce it should be easier to book an appointment with the best person to treat you.

Will any service that is currently offered by my usual surgery be removed or stopped?

No. We do not anticipate services being removed or stopped. If anything, we anticipate that this merger will bring about a greater choice of services.

Will I have to go to another GP Practice site for consultations and/or treatments?

No. However, if in the future we feel that one of the sites provides a better or more appropriate service for specific patients – for example a particular doctor at one site may specialise in COPD or diabetes – you may be asked if you would like to attend there in order to access more specialised care if this is appropriate and you choose this option.

Will there be any changes to how I access the GP out of hours service?

No. In order to access a GP when the merged practice is closed, you will still continue to telephone the NHS 111 service and they will either signpost you to the most appropriate service or arrange for you to access a GP.

Is there a risk of the practices going private?

No. It would not be in line with the vision and ethos of either practice to consider this an option. This is another reason for merging. There is a national shortage of doctors and practices with more opportunities are more appealing to doctors looking for a practice to join.

What will happen with our Patient Participation Groups?

The PPG members from both practices are currently discussing the options for the PPGs going forwards. We hope this may be a good opportunity to merge the two groups and represent the patients from our whole locality in one PPG. We look forward to sharing the outcomes of the current discussions with our patients.

If we don’t merge what will the future look like?

General practice is seeing a substantial increase in demand coupled with fewer doctors choosing a career in primary care. In order to ensure we can continue to provide a high standard of care that is sustainable for the future the partners at both practices believe this merger needs to happen.

Will the merged practice merge again with more practices in the future?

We do not currently have any plans to merge again after this merger. However, we already work closely with other practices in our locality and see the benefits of working together in a variety of ways. It will always be of the utmost importance to our Partners and staff that other practices we work with share our personal, patient-centred approach.

Who makes the final decision? Is it already a ‘given’ that it will go ahead?

This is all still a proposal at this stage. We have only been given permission to consult so far. After everyone has been informed of the plans and given the chance to give feedback the practices will produce a final report to be submitted to the commissioners. We will update both websites to keep you updated.

Will my feedback be listened to?

Yes. We really value the input our patients and stakeholders can contribute to this process. We are trying to provide the best possible service to meet our patient and community needs so it helps us to know what you would like to see and why

How will I know when the merger has taken place?

Once the merger has been agreed we will contact all our patients by text (if we have appropriate details/consent) to keep them informed of progress. We will also update both Practice websites.

I have further questions I would like to ask and / or comments I would like to make. How do I do this?

You can put these in writing for the attention of Louise Hay at your usual surgery.

You can also submit any questions and/or comments at either Practice through our secure online form

Will the clinicians be able to view my medical record?

Yes. Our clinical and telephony systems are not merging until 24th April 2024. After this date all clinicians across all of our sites will be able to view your medical record when they need to. Until this date our systems remain separate. Patients previously with Claremont Medical Practice should continue to contact the practice on the usual contact number, 01395 273666, until the 24th April 2024, when all patients should contact the practice on 01395 226540.

Published: Mar 25, 2024