Four GP practices in Scarborough are looking to collaborate under one name, with a shared team of staff.
Belgrave, Falsgrave, Peasholm and Prospect Road surgeries are in discussions about closer working relationships, with a view to a full merger in April 2018.
All practices would remain at their current locations but patients would be able to access services from any of the four practices and take advantage of 7.30am to 7.30pm opening within the group as well as booked weekend appointments.
One of the lead GPs, Dr Omnia Hefni from the Falsgrave Practice, said: “This merger will allow us to provide a more flexible and accessible service to our patients while ensuring they are able to see the most appropriate healthcare professional for their needs.
“As we are all aware, we face significant challenges in recruiting GPs to the area and this merger will allow us to maximise our resources to deliver a comprehensive service to our patients.”
Sally Brown, Primary Care Lead for NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “GP practices working more closely together for the benefit of patients is at the heart of NHS England’s future direction of travel.
“NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG is fully supportive of these plans which we feel will provide additional benefits for patients including greater accessibility to different health and social care professionals.
“In the future it may also allow patients to access a wider choice of services in their communities close to home rather than having to travel to Scarborough or York Hospitals.”