TWO struggling doctors’ surgeries have been given a fresh start after new providers have taken over delivering care.

As previously reported in the Gazette the Beggarwood and Rooksdown practices had a plethora of issues, with the Beggarwood practice at risk of closing.

However, yesterday (September 9) both surgeries celebrated the next chapter in their journeys as their respective new providers took over the reins.

The Beggarwood Practice, in Broadmere Road has been taken over by North Hampshire Urgent Care (NHUC), celebrated the occasion with a special bake off organised by their Patient Participation Group (PPG).

Members of the team, both new and old, greeted the first patients to arrive with a delicious selection of cake, and NHUC chief executive, Felicity Greene, was there to shake hands and welcome everyone.

Things are looking just as positive over at the Rooksdown Practice – now known as Bramblys Grange, Rooksdown branch.

The experienced team from the town centre practice have spent the weekend getting everything changed over and are equally thrilled to be part of the fresh start.

Bramblys Grange managing partner, Dr Andrew Bill, was keen to stress that bringing the practice up to a better standard would take time, but they are ready to take on the challenge.

He said: “We have done everything we can to be ready for the new start. We are really pleased with how well things have gone so far and we’re sure that, with a little time to bed in, people will see real improvements in the practice.”

Beggarwood and Hatch Warren ward councillor, Cllr Terri Reid said she his hopeful for the future of the surgery after being critical of previous provider Cedar Medical Care. 

Cllr Reid said: "The leaders of the North Hampshire Urgent Care were really up to date with all the worries that myself and patients have had and were keen to make sure they are addressed. 
"Their model and approach is very different and should give people a lot of comfort."
She added: "They have told members of the Patient Participation Group that they want to get regular GPs in the facility and make it a really great community practice. 

"During the transition period there may be a few hiccups but the feeling in the room was very positive." 

This positive sentiment was one which was echoed by Rooksdown ward councillor, Cllr Simon Bound who described the change in provider as "refreshing". 

Cllr Bound said: "I could not speak more highly of Bramblys Grange in the way they have handled the handover. 

"People are being pragmatic and know there may be a few glitches while everything is hander over, but it is refreshing to have Bramblys Grange be so open and transparent where as we know that Cedar Medical Care weren't." 

With NHUC already running drop-in services in the town centre, some residents were concerned that the Beggarwood surgery would turn into a walk-in centre. 

However, Ms Greene said: "Beggarwood Practice is absolutely going to remain a normal general practice right in the heart of the community. 

"We’ll be working closely with the PPG to make sure that whatever changes or developments we make will be for the benefit of everybody. 

“It’s not going to transform overnight, so please do be patient with us for the first few months while we build up a great team of staff and find our feet. We’re certain it will be worth it and can’t wait to get started."