LYME Regis’ two GP practices will join together as a single practice after Virgin Care’s contract at Lyme Regis Medical Centre comes to an end in May.

The Lyme Bay Medical Practice at Kent House in Silver Street and Lyme Regis Medical Centre in Uplyme Road will both be led by Dr Forbes Watson, a general practitioner at Lyme Bay Medical Practice and chairman of Dorset CCG, when they amalgamate in June.

Virgin Care took over as the provider of GP and medical care the medical centre in 2013 but Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced in November last year that care provider’s contract will come to an end on May 31.

A statement from Dorset CCG said: “From June 1 2019 the Lyme Regis Medical Centre (LRMC) and the Lyme Bay Medical Practice will join together as a single practice, led by Dr Forbes Watson.

“The intention is for GP and nurse services currently provided at LRMC to continue in the same building. The only difference will be that, instead of being employees of Virgin Care, the doctors and nurses will be employed directly by this single local practice while the two separate patient lists will become one list registered with this practice.

“NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, Virgin Care and Dr Watson are working closely to ensure a seamless coming together of services.

“Staff across LRMC and Lyme Bay Medical Centre will now be working together to shape services going forward.

“Plans are progressing well, and we are confident that this will result in a smooth transition for patient care.

“The community services provided to patients at both the present Lyme practices and the Charmouth practice have been put out to tender by the Clinical Commissioning Group. We are at the final stages of the procurement process and hope to announce the new provider in early April.

“The new provider will continue to deliver community services out of LRMC, and we believe services will be strengthened with both the community and general practice working closely to meet the needs of the local population.”

When pressed on whether Lyme Regis Medical Centre and Lyme Bay Medical Practice becoming a joint practice would mean the closure of one of the centres, a Dorset CCG spokesperson said: “NHS Dorset CCG considers the Lyme Regis Medical Centre site a valuable and ideally situated resource for the future of GP services in Lyme Regis. The preservation of this site is included in plans for the future.

“Services will continue from both sites, with GP services coming together under the leadership of Lyme Bay Medical Practice. Community services will also be delivered out of both sites.”

There will be an information session open to all patients registered at either of the Lyme Regis practices or the Charmouth Medical Practice on Tuesday, April 9 at The Woodmead Halls from 2pm to 6.30pm.

This will be an opportunity to hear updates, meet both the community and primary care representatives and ask questions. There is no need to book, just turn up on the day.