Patients assured it will be ‘business as usual’ when Suffolk GP Federation takes over running of Felixstowe GP surgery

Press Release – 25th August 2016

Patients have been assured that it will be ‘business as usual’ when a local GP federation takes on the running of a coastal town’s doctors’ surgery.

Suffolk GP Federation has been given the green light to manage Walton Surgery in High Street, Felixstowe.

The move was approved at a meeting of the NHS England/Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Joint Commissioning Committee.

Suffolk GP Federation already delivers a number of primary care services in the county – including Suffolk GP+ which provides extra evening and weekend GP appointments in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

Dr Paul Driscoll, chair and Medical Director of Suffolk GP Federation, said: “We are very excited to take on the running of Walton Surgery.

“By keeping the practice open we have a real chance to develop its services and ensure its 4,500 patients continue to receive the best possible care from its GPs, nurses and staff.

“We will now be working closely with all parties to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

“It is understandable that some patients may have further questions and we would invite them to contact us to find out more.”

Dr Billy McKee, who has been at Walton Surgery since 1992, will be stepping down as the practice’s only partner.

He said: “After 24 years at the practice – supported by an extremely knowledgeable and expert team – I have decided that now is the right time to take a step back.

“However, I am not retiring immediately. I will continue to see patients as before – albeit with a slightly lighter workload.

“I am delighted that Suffolk GP Federation will be managing the surgery. Its involvement is a great opportunity to take the practice forward so that we can continue to provide this vital service for the people of Felixstowe.”

There will be no changes to staff as a result of the takeover and all members of the team have now met with representatives from Suffolk GP Federation to discuss the plan.

Roy Gray, chairman of the Walton Surgery Patient Participation Group, said: “We are pleased that the surgery will remain open and the service will continue. Obviously we will continue to do all we can to protect the interests of our patients.”

Suffolk GP Federation has already been working with Dr McKee to help manage the transition, with the aim of taking on ownership of the Walton Surgery building and becoming manager of the practice by the end of October.

All patients will receive a newsletter informing them of the plan and providing more information.

In line with NHS guidelines, Walton Surgery is also exploring the possibility of greater collaboration with two of Felixstowe’s other GP practices – Haven Health and Howard House. It is hoped a closer partnership will make best use of resources and future proof services for patients.

Patients with further questions can contact or call 01473 344939.