SIX GP practices across the district, including two in Craven, have formed a 'super partnership'.

The surgeries have joined together to create a new region of the national Modality Partnership.

Bosses say the move will help improve patient care and access to appointments.

Surgeries involved are Farfield, Holycroft and Kilmeny in Keighley; Oakworth Medical Practice; Cross Hills Group Practice and Fisher Medical Centre at Skipton.

Modality Partnership is spearheaded by GPs with a small, centralised management team.

Chief executive officer, Dr Naresh Rati, said: "We welcome the expansion into the Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven area.

"We are a GP-led organisation and seek to work with like-minded local doctors who want to come together to transform general practice in their area, for the benefit of staff and patients alike.

"There are many reasons why becoming a part of a super-partnership is beneficial for general practice, such as access to a central management function that streamlines and centralises core business activities such as finance, payroll, IT, governance, HR and communications.

"This frees-up staff across GP practices from administrative burdens to be able to concentrate on taking care of our patients."

Modality Partnership – part of an NHS England national programme, aimed at providing better access to care and services – says there are no plans to change surgery hours.

Dr Andy Parsons, of the Kilmeny Group Medical Practice, is the lead for the new region.

"We want to head the way in shaping the best possible care for all our patients," he said.

"We're proud of the services we provide and want to offer excellent care to all.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for us to make a real difference and it will help to make GP services more resilient and fit for the future.

"By being a part of a larger group of GP practices, we can realistically achieve our goals and deliver excellent patient care for all. This will help us to improve access to appointments and to improve care.

"We have chosen to work with Modality Partnership as it shares our same ethos and vision for the future.

"Staff and patient engagement is underway for all practices concerned and we are keen to hear people's views."