Patients and staff at three GP surgeries in Barmston, Pennywell and Washington are welcoming the introduction of a new name– ‘Monument Surgeries’ – to reflect their strong partnership working.

Barmston Medical Centre, Pennywell Medical Centre and The Galleries Health Centre are part of Sunderland GP Alliance and already have a shared management support team.

From 1 April 2021, all three practices will be known as ‘Monument Surgeries’, marking an important milestone and exciting new chapter as the practices look to the future and continue to grow and develop services for patients.

Since becoming part of Sunderland GP Alliance in 2016, the newly named ‘Monument Surgeries’ have already made great progress to develop a more joined up approach and collaborative ways of working.

Leaders at Monument Surgeries now hope to go even further to integrate the way services are delivered and improve the overall experience for all patients who need help and support from their local practice.

Patients who are registered at any of the Monument Surgeries will receive a letter to let them know about the new name. There will be no changes to care and treatment and patients will remain registered with their usual GP. Contact details for all of the practices will also stay the same.

Judith Taylor, Head of General Practice at Sunderland GP Alliance said: “This is an important moment in the history of our practices in Barmston, Pennywell and Washington as we announce our new name – Monument Surgeries.

“Patients can be reassured that this does not change the way they access services or the local practice they go to, but we do hope it will offer them more choice and flexibility in the future.

“Many people do not know, for example, that their local practice is actually part of a wider family of practices that have been working together over many years to make sure we offer the very best service for our patients.

“Our new name, Monument Surgeries, will help our patients and staff understand that their local practice is part of that wider family as we continue to work together to make sure local people get the very best service.”

Sunderland GP Alliance was founded in 2015 and is a not-for-profit organisation which supports general practice across the City and help GPs work collaboratively for the benefit of patients and staff.

As well as the Monument Surgeries, Sunderland GP Alliance runs two other medical practices in Silksworth and South Hylton, as well as the Sunderland Extended Access Service for GP appointments in the evening and at weekends. Thirty five of the city’s 39 GP practices are members of Sunderland GP Alliance which acts as the voice of primary care in City and representing 95% of Sunderland’s patients.