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Practice merger

I am one of two single-handed, neighbouring GPs. The other GP is about to retire and we want to merge the practices so that the retiring GP's practice will not be taken over by the PCT and put out to tender. We also want to keep both premises going as one will not be sufficient and we do not want to lose the rent reimbursement. The PCT is not permitting us to join and says it would only pay for one premises even if we did merge. It later backtracked and said its problem was with the retiring GP's practice, but it has not explained what the problem is. How should we take this forward?

There is clearly more to this than meets the eye. The two GPs should involve the LMC as soon as possible and insist on openness regarding the doctor in question. If the PCT has material questions regarding the doctor's performance, it should say so. If it is not prepared to reveal its concerns, it would be very unusual for a PCT not to allow such a merger to go ahead as this is DoH policy now.

Bear in mind this is not the only way of ensuring succession and retention of a practice. The retiring GP could, for example, take on a partner before leaving and, if proper notice is given, the PCT should accept this.

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