Acorn Surgery, Priory Fields, and the Hicks Group, which runs Charles Hicks Medicine Centre, in Huntingdon, and the Roman Gate Surgery, in Godmanchester, have signed an agreement to work towards a formal merger of the practices. The Hunts Post revealed last year that the surgeries were had been in lengthy discussions about joining forces in an effort to improve finances and combat GP recruitment difficulties. In a joint statement, the three practices said: Our practices want to work together more closely to improve care for our patients. The proposed merger would mean we could use our GP, nursing and practice staff flexibly across sites and make our services more resilient. This is good news for patients. Closer working and sharing of resources will ensure the sustainability and continuity of services. As we develop, patients will continue to access services they are familiar with whilst benefiting from the opportunities the merger will offer. We will be talking to our patients and patient groups about the proposals before submitting our application to NHS England. If the proposal is given the go-ahead, the new group will serve more than 35,000 patients in the district from April 1, 2018. The practices have insisted that no services will be cut and that the current sites will remain open as normal. Last year the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) offered the surgeries £30,000 to carry out an options appraisal which included possible premises. The practices have continued to be supported by the CCG while discussions are on going. Dr Gary Howsam, CCG clinical chair and chief clinical officer, said: We have been supporting local GP practices to look at different ways of working to ensure that practices, and the services they provide are sustainable for the long term. Closer working will enable practices to transform the way in which GP-led services are provided and to maximise the opportunities to improve patient care by using staff more flexibly to be able to see a broader range of conditions. Anyone with questions or queries regarding the proposed merger is being asked to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.