Fourteen GP practices in Suffolk intend to form one of the largest single GP partnership in the country by April 2017.

In July, members from the practices met to declare their interest in forming a single partnership. The partnership has now been confirmed and will go live by April 2017.

Once up and running, it will be one of the biggest single GP partnerships in the country with a patient list which it says will be 112,614.

Lakeside Healthcare, a super-practice based in Corby, told HSJ it had 115,000 registered patients, making it slightly larger than the Suffolk group.

Our Health Partnership, a GP group in Birmingham, was formed last year and covers a population 279,000, which describes itself as a “super partnership”.

The 14 practices in Suffolk have signed a letter of intent and paid an initial buy-in fee of 50p per patient. Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups have decided to fund match this, totaling £56,000.

The development of the partnership will be facilitated by the Suffolk GP Federation.

Matt Piccaver, a GP from Glemsford Surgery, 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.”

Ed Garratt, chief officer for both the CCGs, said: “To make [collaboration and scale] happen, the practices will need some investment, which we have been able to source this year.

“There is match funding of 50p per patient for those practices who currently wish to take advantage, so approximately £56,000. This payment will be made to the Suffolk GP Federation, which is facilitating its development.

“This partnership strategy is one way of addressing the issues facing GP practices. We will strive to support other practices which, in the future, choose a different model for the positive development of primary care services.”

This story was updated at 10.30am on 7 November, as HSJ was told that information in the public domain about the list size of other providers was incorrect. 

Practices in the partnership and size of patient list

PracticeLocation Registered patient list 
Brandon Medical Practice Brandon 5,502
Combs Ford Surgery Stowmarket 9,484
Deben Road Surgery Ipswich 7,423
Debenham Group Practice Debenham 8,642
Glemsford Surgery Glemsford 4,911
Haven Health Surgery Felixstowe 7,307
Howard House Surgery Felixstowe 7,224
Lakenheath Surgery Lakenheath 5,201
Leiston Surgery Leiston 6,711
Norwich Road Surgery Ipswich 9,885
Oakfield Surgery Newmarket 6,970
Orchard House Surgery Newmarket 10,541
Stowhealth Stowmarket 18,600
Walton Surgery Felixstowe 4,240