Better patient care with the merger of Horsefair Surgery and Banbury Cross Health Centre GP practices in Banbury

Following the launch of Banbury Cross Health Centre in September 2019 as a result of the merger of Banbury Health Centre and West Bar Surgery, Principal Medical Ltd (PML) are delighted to announce the merger of Horsefair Surgery with Banbury Cross Health Centre on Tuesday 26 May 2020.

Banbury Cross Health Centre and Horsefair Surgery are coming together to offer a greater range of GP services for Horsefair Surgery patients, whilst also securing the future of the combined practice. Services will operate from the existing sites and current staff will carry on working for the practice, so little will change for most patients.

Andrew Elphick, PML Chief Executive, said: “We are really pleased to be bringing Horsefair Surgery together with Banbury Cross Health Centre to ensure the most sustainable outcome possible for local patients.”

“The planned merger as previously announced was due to take place in summer 2020. However, in discussion and agreement with Oxfordshire CCG, we have brought this forward slightly in response to the current pandemic. We believe by merging the practices sooner, we can put in place additional measures to better support Horsefair Surgery patients at this time.”

Helen Murphy, practice manager of Banbury Cross Health Centre, said: “The pressures on primary care have been increasing for a number of years and by bringing together the practices now, we will be able to offer a better, more sustainable service for all patients. For example, larger practices can provide improved access to a range of specialists such as physiotherapists, mental health nurses and advanced nurse practitioners.”

“The staff you see on a day-to-day basis will remain broadly the same and any changes to services will be gradual as the current restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic are amended or lifted.  Services will continue to be run across both the 1st and 2nd floors of South Bar House.”

“There will be a single telephone number for all patients to contact the practice (01295 256261).  The same range of services will be available and we will be able to offer new services as these are developed. We have been working towards the planned merger for some time but still have a lot to do in the coming weeks and months to make sure that the new combined service works smoothly, and we will continue to  involve our patient groups in future development of the practice.  

“We would like to thank all our patients for their support and understanding during these challenging times.”

Julie Dandridge, Head of Primary Care at Oxfordshire CCG, said: “The merger of Banbury Cross Health Centre and Horsefair Surgery demonstrates a new way of working in the north of Oxfordshire. Working together, we have developed a more sustainable service in the town which can meet the challenges facing the health service both now during the current pandemic and in the years to come. “

Dr Stephen Haynes, Lead GP at Banbury Cross Health Centre, said: “As a practice, we put patient care at the centre of everything we do. It is a challenging time for primary care and GPs are being encouraged to improve efficiency, which can be really difficult to do when you are running a single GP practice, because you still need much of the same support as a larger business.

“By coming together with Horsefair Surgery which operates from the same building and under the same management, we will be able to integrate our services to further improve the quality of our care for our patients and provide a safe and supportive environment for our staff to work in.”


  • Patients at Horsefair Surgery have received messages and letters explaining they will not need to take any action as they will automatically be registered with the new merged practice. However, all patients have the option to register with another practice if they wish.
  • From Tuesday 26 May, the practice will have a single phone number (01295 256261) and one website.
  • The total number of registered patients at the new Banbury Cross Health Centre is circa 40,000, which combines 26,000 at Banbury Cross Health Centre and 14,000 at Horsefair Surgery. 
  • PML took over the management of Banbury Health Centre in 2009, West Bar Surgery in May 2019 and Horsefair Surgery in August 2019. 



PML was founded in 2004 by a small group of local General Practitioners. In the years since it was formed, the organisation has grown and about 40% of GP practices in Oxfordshire and 30% of those in Northamptonshire are associated with PML as part of the PML GP Federation. We are a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation, enabling us to reinvest in patient care. PML’s shareholders are all local (Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire) GPs. PML associated practices serve a registered patient population of more than 500,000. PML is both a GP Federation and a CQC registered provider of primary and community health services.


Published: May 20, 2020