Surgeries warn of '˜difficult weekend' for Morecambe and Lancaster patients

A computer records merger between Morecambe and Lancaster GP surgeries will have a 'significant impact' on patient appointments for a few days.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 10:15 am
Updated Friday, 26th August 2016, 7:14 pm
Morecambe Health Centre.

The former Coastal Medical Group will merge its computer patient records system with Meadowside on Friday, September 2 affecting services until Tuesday, September 6.

The surgeries have asked that people only contact them with an urgent problem after noon on Friday, September 2 due to limited access to patient records.

The new merged group, known as Bay Medical Group, will also only accept urgent on-day GP appointments on Monday, September 5.

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They said they hoped to be back to business as usual on Tuesday, September 6.

Bay Medical Group has asked for patients’ understanding and support over what they have described as “a particularly difficult weekend”.

The merger between Coastal, which has surgeries at Morecambe Health Centre, West End and Heysham, and Meadowside in Lancaster took place in April.

It will be followed by a further union with Westgate Surgery on October 1.

Westgate’s computer databases will then merge with Bay Medical on November 1.

Bay Medical Group is the area’s first ‘super practice’ and will serve 62,000 patients in the district.

“(The merger) will mean that all our patient records will be held together on one single system allowing us to begin the process of developing and providing more streamlined services for patients across our practice area,” says the latest Bay Medical Group merger newsletter.

It also said that “added pressure” will be placed on appointments in the week running up to the system merger because of the bank holiday, although urgent on-day and pre-bookable appointments will be available as usual on the Tuesday (August 30), Wednesday (August 31) and Thursday (September 1).

There will be no nurse appointments apart from a few urgent blood tests after noon on Friday, September 2.

“A very limited ‘urgent’ service will be operated on the Friday afternoon...for urgent problems that cannot wait until the following week,” says the newsletter.

“Throughout Friday and Monday the treatment rooms will be offering a limited service.

“(On) Monday we are unsure of the exact time our computer system will be back fully operational, we are planning to run Monday much like Friday, with only urgent on the day GP appointments.

“The nurse team will have INR (International Normalised Ratio) blood tests and limited urgent blood tests, Monday afternoon there will be no nurse appointments.”

The group has asked that patients order repeat medication in good time ahead of the weekend of September 2-6, aiming to give 7-10 days’ notice.

The 8am to 8pm service at Bay Medical Group will not be available over the weekend of September 2 until 6.30pm on Monday, September 5.

Anyone requiring medical assistance over this period should contact the 111 service and out of hours.

Meadowside patients who use patient online services for booking appointments, prescription orders and viewing medical records will lose access from Friday, August 26. They will be contacted after the databases merge with details of how to resume access. New patients can register for the service after the merger.

To deal with enquiries about the merger, Bay Medical Group will hold a Patient Question and Answer session on the evening of Tuesday, October 11.

At the Q&A the partners and management team will answer questions submitted in advance by patients and deal with issues and concerns about the merger.

Full information is available on the Bay Medical Group website or at the surgeries.