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


When will we get more information?

Patients will receive several letters. This includes:

  • December 2022 – notification of closure
  • January 2023 – choice of new practice and information about patient information events
  • w/c 20 February 2023 – confirmation of new practice

I haven’t received a letter – how can I find out which practice I’m registered at?

The letter to confirm which practice you will be transferring to was posted on Wednesday 22 February 2023. If you haven’t received your letter by Tuesday 28 February, you can:

  • Attend a drop-in session at Cosham Library from 11am-2pm on Tuesday 28 February, Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 March where a staff member from NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board will be able to help answer your questions
  • Contact us on [email protected] or 023 9289 9500

I’m unhappy with my new practice – what can I do?

More than 5,000 people completed the survey to state their preferences for which GP practice they wanted to be transferred to, and the majority of patients have been given their first choice. The remaining patients have been allocated to a practice that is closest to them, that their postcode is within the practice boundary of.

If you haven’t been allocated to the practice you wanted, it is important that your patient records are transferred on the date allocated. This is to help ensure that there isn’t any confusion about where you are registered and where your medical records should go.

We discourage you from re-registering with another practice for at least six months to enable your new practice to meet your needs, but understand there may be other reasons for re-registering. Please wait until after the transfer date before looking to find an alternative practice.

Is there an opportunity to ask more questions?

Yes, if your questions aren’t answered here, 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.

Patient transfer

What will happen to the patients?

In January, you were sent a letter with details of the practices closest to your homes and that you fall within the practice boundary of. You were asked to choose your preferred practice by completing an online survey, speaking to the team face-to-face or contacting us by email or over the phone.

In February, you will receive a letter to confirm which practice you will be transferred to and on which date.

You do not need to do anything. The move will happen automatically on the date outlined in your letter and listed below, and your medical record will be securely transferred. You do not need to book a new patient appointment to discuss your medical history.

To support you with the transfer to your new practice, you will find some useful information on the Health and Care Portsmouth website.

When will patients move to the new practices?

All patient moves will happen by the middle of March. Your exact transfer date depends on where you are being transferred:

  • Tuesday 28 February – Craneswater Group Practice, East Shore Partnership, Homewell Practice, Kirklands Surgery, Island City Practice, Oaks Healthcare, St Paul’s Surgery, The Bosmere Medical Practice, The Drayton Surgery, The Lighthouse Group Practice, The Portchester Practice, Vine Medical Group and Westlands Medical Centre.
  • Thursday 2 March – Portsdown Group Practice
  • Tuesday 7 March – Derby Road Group Practice

Ongoing healthcare

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

We know the closure of a GP practice can be an extremely worrying time, especially if you have any ongoing healthcare needs. We will make sure you continue to receive the care you need by:

  • Transferring your medical records to your new GP practice
  • Highlighting your needs so any immediate or urgent care requirements are picked up as a priority
  • Making sure any requests for repeat prescriptions or ongoing care is sent to your new GP practice

If you require any immediate ongoing or urgent care, please do not worry. You will be identified to your new practice who will contact you when you have transferred, to ensure that there is no gap in care and that your healthcare needs are met.

Other support is also available. The HIVE Portsmouth Directory contains contact details for hundreds of voluntary groups and organisations supporting people and communities across Portsmouth. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can visit the HIVE Community Helpdesk at the Central Library in Guildhall Square (Monday to Friday, 9.30am-4pm) or call HIVE Portsmouth on 023 9400 7124 (Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm).

Can I still book an appointment?

Before your transfer date

This depends on what the appointment is for. As North Harbour Medical Group begins to close, the practice will stop some services and prioritise urgent care needs. This means that pre-bookable routine appointments are no longer being offered and appointments are only available for urgent, on the day enquiries. This will initially be offered as a consultation with a GP over the phone. If required, the doctor will then book a face-to-face appointment for you. Urgent nurse care, such as dressings or removal of stiches, or regular injections is available until you are transferred to your new GP practice.

For routine and annual checks with the nurse, please contact your new practice once you have been transferred. You can also use 111.nhs.uk or call 111 for medical advice. If you have a life-threatening emergency, please call 999.

If you’re not sure what medical support you need, or what the difference is between urgent and emergency care, visit www.healthandcare.portsmouth.gov.uk/urgent

The day before your transfer date

To enable your transfer to happen, North Harbour Medical Group will be unable to provide services to you, from 3pm-6.30pm on the day before you are transferred.

During that time, if you have an urgent medical enquiry that cannot wait, please contact 111 (visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111). If you have an emergency or life-threatening medical enquiry, call 999 or attend the emergency department.

After your transfer date

Once you are transferred, if you need medical support, you should contact your new practice. Please do not contact your practice on the date of the transfer unless you need an urgent, same-day appointment.

Can I request more medication to make sure I’m covered during the closure and transfer?

Yes, if you request a prescription, North Harbour Medical Group will issue your usual supply, or up to three months’ worth of repeat medications, to make sure you have enough during the transfer period. To minimise waste, if you have recently received enough supply medication, please continue to use this until your next prescription is due.

I currently collect my prescriptions from a specific pharmacy. Will it be the same pharmacy when I transfer?

If your prescriptions are sent electronically from the surgery to your pharmacy, then yes; this is called your nominated pharmacy. When you transfer practices, your nominated pharmacy will stay the same. If you want to change it, you can ask your pharmacy or your new GP practice to change it. You can also change it through the NHS app.

Will I still be able to access online systems at my new practice?

Your new GP practice will update your access to online systems, for example for prescriptions or requesting an appointment, to make sure you can access this without needing to fill out any additional paperwork or showing identification to your new practice. This may not happen immediately due to the number of patients being transferred.

I’m expecting a letter from another NHS provider (i.e. Queen Alexandra Hospital) – do I need to do anything?

We have informed partners that North Harbour Medical Group will be closing but if you are receiving any other care within the NHS, for example at Queen Alexandra Hospital, it’s a good idea to let them know at your next appointment that you’ve changed your GP practice.

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

To support you with the transfer to your new practice, you will find some useful information on the Health and Care Portsmouth website.


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?

Ahead of the practice closing we will need to stop offering some services to patients and prioritise urgent care needs. This is to ensure everyone is moved to their new practice as smoothly as possible, and to reduce risks of patients’ routine care being disrupted by the transfer process.

We will keep seeing patients who have an urgent issue and those whose care cannot be safely delayed, but some of the more routine things we do – like blood tests or regular referrals – will be better managed by waiting until you can book them with your new practice.

We know this might be inconvenient for some people, but hope you appreciate the reasons we need to take this step.

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.


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. Some staff will be moving to other practices locally.

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.

If your question isn’t answered, please contact us on [email protected] or call 023 9289 9500 (Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm).