Sutcliffe new doc at Levin practice

A GP's practice in Levin has changed hands.

Dr Chris Sutcliffe has purchased the Queen Street Surgery East General Practice from Dr Kirsten Sauermann, with the change of ownership taking effect on the weekend.

Sauermann, who moved to New Zealand several years ago and worked as a GP in Foxton before moving to Levin, will stay on at the practice for a time to assist with the handover.

Dr Bruce Stewart, chairman of the Central PHO board of trustees, acknowledged there had been speculation floating around Levin about changes at the practice.

However, Stewart said that while he was aware of community concern and lots of local rumours it was not possible to make any public announcement until agreement was reached and contracts signed by both parties.

"The main objective of the PHO is to support the ownership transition to ensure the continuity of high-quality care into the future," Stewart said.

"My board of trustees was prepared for the PHO to step in and take the practice over if no other viable option was available," said Stewart.

"However we are delighted that Dr Sutcliffe has stepped up and purchased the practice, and we will support him and the Queen Street East team 100 per cent to continue providing high-quality primary healthcare from the practice."

Senior Central PHO manager Joe Howells said it was likely the Queen Street East Practice would be a little stretched at times over the next few weeks, as there was a lot to do to complete the change of ownership of the practice.

However, the intent was that patients should not notice any differences in the services that the practice offers.

Howells said that the PHO team were delighted that Dr Sutcliffe had purchased the practice and that the PHO team would give him all the support they could to achieve a smooth ownership transition.

"The fact that Dr Sutcliffe is willing to invest in the practice is a great vote of confidence in Primary Health Care services for Levin in the future," Howells said.

Manawatu Standard