The Suffolk Primary Care partnership is planning to launch in April 2017 and will serve more than 112,600 patents.
The move by the Suffolk GP Federation is backed by Suffolk’s CCGs which have agreed to match-fund the project.
East and West Suffolk CCGs said they would provide 50p per patient to the federation for each practice involved, around £56,00 in total.
GPs leading the project said more collaboration would help practices deal with current workforce, workload and financial pressures.
The new partnership will gradually increase collaboration over time, beginning with shared admin, and potentially developing new care models such as using pharmacists, physiotherapists and other professionals to support GPs.
Glemsford Surgery GP Dr Matt Piccaver said: ‘NHS England has made clear that it wants to see GP surgeries collaborating and working together. It’s an approach that we agree with and one that we think offers some very exciting opportunities.
‘By coming together it means surgeries can work much more effectively – sharing resources to ensure we continue to deliver the highest quality care.
‘Crucially, the partnership is about making general practice more sustainable – not cutting costs. No practices will close and there will be no redundancies. Patients will also still be able to see their GP at their registered practice.’
West Suffolk CCG chair and GP Dr Christopher Browning said: ‘We’ve been working hard to develop good programmes to attract new GPs to the area. On behalf of the CCG, I wholeheartedly welcome this venture as one of the ways to strengthen the future of GP surgeries and maintain good levels of care for patients.’
Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG chair Dr Mark Shenton added: ‘The CCGs actively support transformation and collaboration among Suffolk’s GP practices to help ensure sustainability of services and the continuity of safe, high quality care. The standard of primary care delivered by local GP practices is high and it is recognised that change is required to address recruitment issues and the increase in patient demand.
‘Neighbouring practices have worked together informally in some cases for many years to learn from each other. By opening up the discussions and making these more formal we can support each other to deliver care closer to people’s homes.’
The practices covered by the new partnership are:
- Brandon Medical Practice, Brandon
- Combs Ford Surgery, Stowmarket
- Deben Road Surgery, Ipswich
- Debenham Group Practice, Debenham
- Glemsford Surgery, Glemsford
- Haven Health Surgery, Felixstowe
- Howard House Surgery, Felixstowe
- Lakenheath Surgery, Lakenheath
- Leiston Surgery, Leiston
- Norwich Road Surgery, Ipswich
- Oakfield Surgery, Newmarket
- Orchard House Surgery, Newmarket
- Stowhealth, Stowmarket
- Walton Surgery, Felixstowe