Merger with Modality Partnership

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On August 23rd, we hosted around 350 patients at the Mercure Hotel in St Helens. For those unable to attend or those seeking a summary, Dr Martin Breach, alongside Vincent Sai, the CEO and Partner of Modality Partnership, announced the merger of Haydock Medical Centre and Modality Partnership.


General Practices across the country have been under great pressure. Demand has sky-rocketed and Haydock Medical Centre has also been stretched thin with Dr Breach being the only remaining partner out of 10 partners (across the 2 former practices). The practice has struggled to recruit and there is no simple answer to this. It is difficult to find staff in this current climate and it takes time to train people but with the help of Modality Partnership, we aim to build a more resilient team and deliver improved services.


There was a lot of confusion at first as to what Modality Partnership stood for with initial fears that the merger was a form of privatisation and distant from the values of the NHS. This is far from the case. Modality Partnership is an award-winning NHS super partnership made up of GP practices who continue to be owned by local GP partners. All that sets them apart from other traditional NHS partnerships is that they are a lot bigger. They have 130 partners across 49 sites looking after around half a million patients. Through their commitment to the NHS values and belief in cooperation and working together, Modality have successfully transformed many GP practices nationally.


It was clear from feedback that improving access needs to be a priority. There was frustration regarding long waiting times for getting through to reception on the phone and a lack of appointments. The meeting also highlighted poor communication from the practice to the patients as an opportunity for improvement. There was a lack of awareness on certain services on offer. For some time now, Haydock has employed 3 specialist mental health nurse practitioners, 3 advanced nurse practitioners, a diabetes specialist nurse and a family planning specialist nurse – which some patients attending the event did not know about.


We have taken all your feedback on board and are already making plans to make services more widely known, with larger patient feedback groups, regular practice newsletters and feedback sessions in the near future.


Additionally, we are exploring the use of technology which can improve services such as a more streamlined approach to request repeat prescriptions. However, we recognise technology may not always be accessible for all of our patients, so we are working on ensuring the ability for these processes to be done in person and in a way most convenient for you.


We are also looking at ways in which we can improve the working day for our staff which will ultimately help with our efforts to recruit and retain staff. We are looking to invest in automation to remove the mundane repetitive processes that currently GPs spend unnecessary amounts of time on. Modality Partnership through their use of technology have already saved 35,000 hours in the past year and have plans to implement these in Haydock. This will open more time for GPs that will no doubt be invaluable to improve access and also their own wellbeing.


Modality Partnership’s career structure is also going to be helpful going forward. It has proven to be attractive to younger GPs, with them having opportunities to become partners within the partnership. This prospect has already attracted recent new doctors to the practice, and we hope it will continue to do so.


However, it is the day-to-day stresses and abuse that can ultimately deter someone from wanting to work in the practice.  The practice has endured baseless rumours, trolling, personal attacks and negativity on social media. We ask that you are kind and empathetic to staff in person and online as it makes an immense difference to our team


This merger will take effect from the 1st of October. The journey to better service will not be immediate, and we ask for your trust, support, and feedback during this transition period. We are aware that many experiences with the practice have been unsatisfactory and for this we are very sorry; we are putting the steps in place to improve and transform our services.


In summary, we are listening to you. Modality Partnership is lifting a massive weight from the shoulders of the staff at Haydock Medical Centre. Modality’s involvement will help improve standards of care for our patients. We want to reassure you that we are doing our best to secure a strong and stable future for the practice. You can find out more about Modality, their standards and background on their website. We are open to answering any questions you may have.

Download Modality Presentation