Plans outlined to support North Harbour patients move to new GP practices

NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (HIOW ICB) has issued details of plans to support patients to move to new GP practices as North Harbour Medical Group in Cosham is to close in spring this year.

The difficult decision to close North Harbour Medical Group was made by senior partners at the GP practice before Christmas. It follows several planned departures of the practice’s senior leadership team, on both the medical and business operations side, along with ongoing and increasing pressures within primary care.

HIOW ICB is working extremely closely with North Harbour Medical Group and other local practices to close North Harbour and allocate patients to a new practice in the best way possible. It is expected that Portsdown Group Practice and The Drayton Surgery will accept most patient transfers, with smaller numbers moving to Derby Road Group Practice and other practices in the Portsmouth area.

Mark Compton, Director of Primary Care and Transformation at HIOW ICB, said: “We recognise that the closure of a GP practice can be a worrying and disruptive experience for patients. We are working very closely with North Harbour to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible and to support patients during this difficult time.

“We are especially grateful to Portsdown and Drayton practices for their support by offering to accept the majority of North Harbour patients onto their lists, and the work they are doing to recruit additional staff and implement the necessary infrastructure to support these moves. Our top priorities at this difficult time are to ensure all patients receive clear information, choice and continuity of care, and to work with all the Portsmouth practices to make sure they are suitably resourced to take on extra registrations.”

HIOW ICB will be moving all patients to other local GP practices and hopes this transfer can be completed by April 2023. At the moment patients do not need to do anything. Patients are asked not to re-register themselves with another practice at this stage. HIOW ICB are writing to patients with details of the practices which patients are within the boundary of and can move to.

Mark Compton added: “Patients will be offered the opportunity to express their preference for which GP practice they move to, and we will do our best to match patients’ preferences based on geography and practices’ capacity to accept new patients. We will ensure everyone continues to receive the care they need, particularly those who live with a long-term health condition.”

The practice, in partnership with HIOW ICB is hosting a series of face-to-face and virtual patient events to explain more about the decision to close North Harbour Medical Group and what the changes mean for patients and their care.

The events are taking place on:

  • Tuesday 24 January, 7pm – 8.30pm, in person at Cosham Baptist Church, 48 Havant Road, Cosham, Portsmouth PO6 2QZ
  • Wednesday 25 January, 12.30pm – 2pm, in person at Cosham Community Centre, 1 Wootton Street, Cosham, Portsmouth PO6 3AP
  • Thursday 26 January, 7pm – 8.30pm, online via Microsoft Teams

Those intending to attend must register via Eventbrite so that numbers may be managed. For those without internet, please call 023 9289 9500 (Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm).

HIOW ICB is committed to communicating with all patients throughout the process, as well as engaging with other key stakeholders including MPs, local councillors and Healthwatch Portsmouth.

Dr Shishirkant Choudhary, senior partner of North Harbour Medical Group, said: “It’s been a difficult decision to close the practice and while we’ve been working with partners to consider all alternative options, in the end we feel that moving patients to other practices locally is the most viable option. Until then, we remain open and will continue to offer services as before. We’re also working hard to make sure that our patients with long-term conditions receive the care they need, and ensure a smooth closure with minimal disruption on the quality of care on offer to patients.”

If you have any questions about the closure, please visit the North Harbour website in the first instance, or contact the HIOW ICB primary care team on: