Town GPs join to save surgery
THREE GP practices in St Austell have joined forces to take over the services at Polkyth Surgery after it relinquished its contract GP services due to cash problems.
Polkyth Surgery announced earlier this month that discussions were underway with other potential providers to secure continuity of care as the practice was facing financial difficulties and could not continue with its contract.
A new consortium — known as the St Austell Healthcare Group — has now been formed between Wheal Northey Surgery, Park Medical Centre and Woodland Road Surgery to take over the Polkyth contract on a 12-month basis with NHS England, starting from Monday.
All 9,100 patients of the surgery are due to receive letters this week explaining the new arrangements, which will see all services provided at the surgery and opening hours remain the same.
NHS England said it was delighted to be able to confirm that it was business as usual at the practice.
Director of commissioning for NHS England’s Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Area Team, Bridget Sampson, said: “NHS England had to act quickly to ensure continuity of GP services for patients, so it was very gratifying to see the three other practices in St Austell so keen to bring together local healthcare in this way.
“Our priority is always to ensure high-quality healthcare for patients. With all the practices in the town now working more closely, GP services in St Austell have the potential to move forward together in an exciting new direction.
“Longer term, we are keen to offer patients in St Austell a wider variety of services, these and other ideas will be at the heart of our planned meetings with people in the area over the next few weeks.”
Dr Colan Robinson, GP partner at Wheal Northey, said: “We’re really excited about the prospects for strengthening primary care here in St Austell by coming together and making the most of our joint resources.
“There is huge enthusiasm in the consortium for meeting with our patients, sharing ideas and mapping out how we go forward over the coming year.”
NHS England said the next year would be used to consider long-term options for the future of the practice and a series of events would be taking place over the next few weeks to help drive the modernisation of GP services in the area.
Commenting on the announcement, St Austell MP Stephen Gilbert said: "It's very welcome news that local GPs in St Austell have come together to ensure that it is business as usual at the Polkyth surgery.
"Indeed, the new GP consortia have exciting plans to see a better primary provision of health services across the town and this could be the start of some very exciting plans.
"I'd like to thank NHS England for the speed in which this was resolved and the fact they found a local solution."
- 16th March 2017 13:11
- Its hard enough now getting to see a doctor without loosing another venue plus the parking at wheal northey would be insufficient if patients are move to there