A GP surgery in Llanilar which has been run by a single doctor since earlier this year has agreed to merge with an Aberystwyth practice in a bid to protect its future.

In a message to patients at Llanilar Health Centre and Ystwyth Medical Group it was outlined that Llanilar Health Centre’s sole GP Dr Deanna Evans “is solely responsible for the running of the practice services and the business, and this is becoming increasingly unsustainable.”

“In order to ensure that general medical services can be provided to patients at Llanilar Health Centre, Dr Evans opened discussions with the GP Partners at Ystwyth Medical Group in Aberystwyth,” the practices said.

“After many months of discussion both practices have agreed that the best way forward is for us to merge to form a new single practice, so that we will continue to provide care to patients at Llanilar Health Centre and Ystwyth Medical Group.”

The merger is scheduled to take place from 1 April next year which the practices are “busy planning for.”

“Dr Evans will be joining Dr Davies, Dr Grahl and Dr Ellaban in partnership and the GPs will be bringing together the practice staff that currently work in both practices,” the practices added.

“We anticipate that by working together to consolidate services we can continue to attract high quality clinicians to our team.”

Ystwyth Medical Group in Aberystwyth

The merger will secure the near-term future of GP services in Llanilar after dire warnings were made on the future of smaller GP surgeries in Mid Wales.

Earlier this year Borth Surgery partner GP Dr Sue Fish argued that the county could see at least two smaller GPs and several pharmacists close in the next five years, leaving only larger towns and villages with accessible care for their residents – and leaving many situated in rural areas stranded.

British Medical Association (BMA) Wales released its Save Our Surgeries report in July which called for a restoration of the proportion of the NHS Wales budget spent in general practice to the historic level of 8.7 per cent within three years, with an aspiration to increase to nearer 11 per cent in the next five.

Currently registered patients of Llanilar Health Centre and Ystwyth Medical Group do not need to do anything in the wake of the announcement, the practices said.

“As a patient of the merged practice, you will be able to access services at Llanilar Health Centre or Ystwyth Medical Group, depending on the availability of appointments.

“So you can continue to use the surgery that is local to you, or the other if that’s more convenient if you travel for work for example.”

The planning for the merger in the spring is “underway”, the practices said.

The practices are also jointly organising a public engagement drop-in event in the coming weeks in Llanilar.

“This will be an opportunity for patients registered at either practice to meet members of the new combined practice team, along with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about how services will be provided by the newly merged practice,” the practices said.