FAQs

A list of our most frequently asked questions about the closure of North Harbour Medical Group.

Correspondence

I will be away from my registered address. Is there another way to receive information from the practice?

Yes, if you are away from your registered address in January/February and would like us to send your correspondence another way, please contact the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (HIOW ICB) on:

Please note that the phone number is the main contact number for the HIOW ICB. The email should be used for enquiries about the closure of the practice only.

When will we get more information?

Patients will receive several letters from the practice. This includes:

  • December 2022 – notification of closure
  • January 2023 – choice of new practice and information about patient information events
  • February 2023 – confirmation of new practice

In January, NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board is hosting a series of events to explain more about the decision to close and what the changes mean for you and your 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

To enable us to manage numbers for each event, it is essential that you register to attend. You can do this through Eventbrite.

If you don’t have access to the internet, please call 023 9289 9500 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) so a member of the team can register your attendance or provide you with dial-in details so that you can listen to our online event via your phone. There will also be regular updates on this section of the North Harbour Medical Group website.

Is there an opportunity to ask more questions?

Yes, if your questions aren’t answered here, or at the patient information events in January, you can contact NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board on:

Please note that the phone number is the main contact number for the HIOW ICB. The email should be used for enquiries about the closure of the practice only.

Closure

Why is the practice closing?

Practice partners have made a very difficult decision to close North Harbour Medical Group in spring 2023. This is mostly due to workforce challenges with several of our senior leadership team (on both the medical and business operations side) having planned departures and the difficulties we’ve had in replacing them.

Was there an option not to close?

We have been working with the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board to explore all the options, but due to the workforce issues, it was agreed that the best solution was to close and move patients to other local practices.

Will the practice offer all the same services until it closes?

The practice remains open and is offering all the same services as before, however as we begin to close, there may be some services that will stop. We are working closely with the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board to make sure that anyone with a long-term health condition isn’t affected by the closure and will keep everyone updated throughout the process.

Patient transfer

What will happen to the patients?

Patients will be moved to other practices nearby. You will be given a choice of which local GP practice you would like to move to, and because it’s controlled, it means other practices will know how many additional patients they will have and can plan what extra staff and resources they may need.

Most patients do not need to do anything and we ask that you do not re-register with another practice as we are managing all of this as part of the transfer.

If you live outside of Portsmouth, you will be asked to register with a practice in your locality. This will be explained in your next letter in January (see below).

Will patients get to choose their new practice?

Yes, patients will be sent a second letter in January with details of the practices closest to your homes and will be asked to choose your preferred practice. Your choices will only include those that you fall within the boundary of.

Your first choice is not guaranteed but the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board will do their best to match as many people as possible with their preferences.


Will the other practices get a say on which patients they do or don’t accept?

The NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board continues to work with practices to identify the number of patients they can safely accept as part of the managed transfer. This will allow the practices to recruit additional staff to meet the increase in patients and be as prepared as possible. Patients will not be identifiable by age or condition at this stage, so practices will be working on numbers alone.

When will patients move to the new practices?

The NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board are aiming to have completed all patient moves by April 2023.

I’d like to register with a GP practice outside of Portsmouth – what should I do?

If you live in Portsmouth, you should have received a letter with details of your nearest Portsmouth practices. If you do not want to be transferred to any of these practices and register with a practice outside of Portsmouth, please do not complete the survey. Instead, please contact us with your details (name, NHS number and postcode of your address) and let us know which alternative practice you’d like to register with. Contact us by email (hiowicb-hsi.p.northharbour@nhs.net) or call 023 9289 9500 (Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm). In February, we will write to you with details of your new GP practice and the date you will be transferred across. If there are any issues with registering with your preferred practice we will contact you to discuss.

If you live outside of Portsmouth but within Hampshire and Isle of Wight, you do not need to do anything. In February, we will allocate you to a practice in Hampshire and Isle of Wight that your home address is within the boundary of. If you have a strong preference as to which practice you would like to be registered, please contact us with your details (name, NHS number and postcode of your address) and let us know which alternative practice you’d like to register with. If there are any issues with registering with your preferred practice we will contact you to discuss.  We will write to you in February with details of your new GP practice and the date you will be transferred across.

If you live outside of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, you will need to register with another GP practice. Please visit the NHS website to see a full list of your nearest available practices. We recommend registering with a new practice as soon as possible and no later than 31 March 2023, when North Harbour Medical Group is expected to close.

Ongoing healthcare

How will you ensure patients with long-term health conditions receive appropriate ongoing healthcare during the transfer?

We continue to work closely with the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board to deliver care to all patients throughout this difficult time. The practice remains open and is offering the same services as before, however as we begin to close, there may be some services that will stop.

When we are ready to complete the managed transfer to new practices, we will ensure that all patient health records are transferred to the new practices so they can deliver ongoing healthcare. It is the intention of everyone involved that patient healthcare is not interrupted by the move, and we will do everything we can to ensure a smooth transfer to whichever practice you are moved to.

We will keep everyone updated throughout the process.

How are other practices preparing for the additional patients at their practices?

The NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board continues to work with practices to support them in preparing for additional patients as a result of the closure at North Harbour Medical Group. This includes:

  • Supporting practices to recruit additional clinical and admin staff
  • Running patient information events in January, to answer questions patients may have about the closure and transfer to other practices
  • Development of a video and leaflet to explain more about your new practice, including how to make an appointment, types of roles available and services on offer

Staff

What will happen to the staff at the practice?

All staff have now been informed and we are working with the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board to support our staff in finding new roles. We are not in a position to say whether staff will be moving to other practices at this stage.

Alternative options

There have been discussions previously about building a new GP practice in Cosham. Is there an update on this?

We have been working with NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (HIOW ICB) for some time on finding an alternative building, but due to the processes of finding an alternative building and the difficulties we faced with recruitment, this hasn’t been possible.

HIOW ICB has confirmed that plans for a new practice in Cosham will continue to be explored and this work is underway.