Two Swindon GP practices are to merge next month in an effort to save money and improve efficiency.

The Whalebridge Practice will merge with Sparcells Surgery and its Great Western Surgery branch on April 1, with all three sites taking on the Whalebridge name.

The aim is to avoid duplication, share resources and offer patients more clinical services, as the cost-of-living crisis affects surgeries.

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A survey last year by GPonline found 9 in 10 GP partners say the crisis had undermined the financial sustainability of their practice.

Soaring energy bills were also said to have led some practices to close earlier or reduce sessions and almost 40% of GP partners reported having to reduce energy use.

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This also comes with an increase in demand from cost-of-living related illnesses increasing burden on surgeries.

The surgeries have insisted that no job losses will occur, but that patients may notice the Whalebridge name being used on forms of communication.

Sarah Smith, Practice Manager at Sparcells Surgery, said: “Our merger gives us access to three sites and three lots of clinical staff, which means that appointment availability for patients will be much greater.

“In some cases this may help patients to be seen quicker or seen by a clinician who specialises in a specific area of medicine.”