Patients based at the newly-formed Claypit Street surgery will be able to register at Bridgewater Street on a permanent basis after significant progress was made to secure the long term provision of primary healthcare in Whitchurch.

Bridgewater Family Medical Practice, in Bridgewater Street, has been made possible through a partnership with Ellesmere Medical Practice, in Trimpley Street, which has provided support to Bridgewater in recent months as it provided doctors after Shropdoc withdrew.

The merger between the two practices is subject to final approval by Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group at its Primary Care Commissioning Committee on Wednesday, February 7 and will formally happen on April 1.

This will secure GP services for all practices, make possible a range of new innovative services, develop sustainable ways of working and attract and retain healthcare professionals more able to meet current and future challenges. The merged practice will be called Churchmere Medical Group.

Dodington Surgery is also working alongside Bridgewater and Ellesmere towards the vision of a single GP practice within a single premise for the patients of Whitchurch.

Patients are reassured that they will continue to be able to access care at both Bridgewater Family and Claypit Street Medical Practices until the new Whitchurch health centre opens but there will be no need for them to re-register with the new Churchmere Medical Group.

Dr Tim Lyttle, from Bridgewater, said: “Dr James Muir and I are pleased that the future of GP services in Whitchurch are now more secure and we would like to thank the GPs of Ellesmere Medical Practice for their enthusiasm to support the Whitchurch practices.”

Dr Mark Willis, senior partner at Ellesmere Medical Practice, said: “Having seen the changes in general practice over 30 years working at Ellesmere, I am convinced we have to grow to be secure."

Dr Julian Povey, Shropshire CCG’s clinical chair, added: “We welcome the proposed merger between Bridgewater Family and Ellesmere Medical Practices, both longstanding practices offering high quality patient centred care, and are pleased GP services have been secured for the people of Whitchurch.

"Our main focus has been to ensure the best possible provision of healthcare for the Whitchurch community, and this merger supports this aim fully.”