Three doctors’ surgeries have merged to form a super sized practice which will look after almost 25,000 patients.

Shrub End, Castle Gardens and Wimpole Road Surgeries are now part of the Colchester Medical Practice, which will have a catchment area roughly covering half of Colchester.

Each practice will remain at their own individual sites but the merger means they will share back office duties such as payroll and pensions, making them more efficient.

There are initial plans to recruit an extra GP and nurse and from May offer all blood tests in all three surgeries.

Dr Linda Mahon-Daly, of Shrub End Surgery, said: “This is a number of like-minded practices coming together who want to do the best for their patients.

“By joining forces, a lot of duplication will be removed, enabling us to focus on what we became GPs for; looking after our patients."