Hartlepool to tell GP bosses what it thinks about review of three town surgeries

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A patients group says local NHS leaders should be in no doubt about the strength of feeling surrounding proposals which could see up to two town practices close.

Members of the Hartfields Patient Participation Group sought support from Hartlepool Borough Council at its latest Full Council meeting.

The CCG and NHS England should be in no doubt that proper process has been followed and that the wishes of patients, community and the Council is that the three practices continue

Liz Carroll, Hartfields Patient Participation Group chair

Councillor Ray-Martin-Wells who heads the Audit & Governance Committee, which is responsible for health scrutiny, said the council’s position has been made clear informally to health chiefs.

A formal response will be considered at a meeting of the committee on Thursday, September 22.

Hartlepool & Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is consulting on three proposals for the future of the alternative provider medical services (APMS) at Fens, Hartfields and Wynyard Road GP surgeries.

One is for one provider to run Wynyard Road and Fens, the second is for one provider to run Wynyard Road and Hartfields or the third is for one provider at just the Wynyard Road site.

Liz Carroll, chair of the Hartfields Patient Participation Group, said: “I submitted my question to give a clear statement to councillors that patients want the three APMS practices to be re-commissioned and to ensure their support for their constituents. Whilst I understand that the Audit & Governance Committee are the council body responsible for involvement in the APMS review process and that they must, rightly, follow due process, Councillor Ray Martin-Wells, in his answer, stated that he has had several informal meetings with the CCG and NHS England and made it crystal clear that Hartlepool Council wants to keep all three practices.

“The CCG and NHS England should be in no doubt that proper process has been followed and that the wishes of patients, community and the Council is that the three practices continue.

“I feel that is a successful outcome from my question.”

Coun Martin-Wells said the committee had influenced previous contract extensions for the three surgeries and is promoting consultation events for the latest review. He added the committee will consider the CCG’s decision on the three surgeries and could take further action including referral to the Secretary of State.

Ms Carroll added: “It is imperative patients of these practices attend the Audit & Governance Committee meeting, where representatives from the CCG & NHS England will be present, to ensure that their opinions are considered and included in the committee’s report.”

An additional consultation event will take place on Thursday, September 22, at Fens Primary School, Mowbray Road, at 5pm-6.30pm.