Two GP surgeries in Chorley will join forces as an influx of newcomers has resulted in growing patient numbers.
The clinics in the villages of Croston and Eccleston have also announced the plans in anticipation of a new housing development at the former Camelot theme park which could bring up to 195 homes to the area.
The merger means that Eccleston Health Centre will take on two more doctors. Plans are also underway for an extension to the surgery. Meanwhile a nurse practitioner could join Croston Village Surgery.
Gill Stubbs, who is practice manager for both of the neighbouring clinics, said: “Our list sizes are both growing because new families are moving to the area.
“Also there’s obviously the development at Camelot to bear in mind, we have to be prepared in case of that and its best that doctors at both clinics work together.
“The merge means that patients will have more access to appointments.
“Services will be available to patients at each surgery and at either location.”
As of May 1 the new service will be called The Village Surgeries, Croston and Eccleston when Dr Catherine Bradbury of Eccleston and Dr Qamar Ahmad of Croston will welcome Dr Sarah Whomersley and Dr Russell Neary to their team.
The move reflects the national picture of the GP crisis. Recent figures revealed by Pulse magazine show that record numbers of GP practices closed last year.
The closures forced around 265,000 patients to move.
A Freedom of Information request by the magazine revealed 57 practices closed in 2016, with a further 34 shutting because of practice mergers.
The Royal College of GPs said that doctors were unable to cope with ever-growing patient demand without the necessary funding and workforce to deal with it.
Elsewhere Whittle Surgery has extended temporarily into a PortaKabin in order to cope with increasing demand for appointments.
Partners say that patient numbers have increased by over half in the last 16 years because of housing popping up in the area.
They are on the hunt for a new permanent premises to accommodate newcomers.