New date set for meeting into future of Hartlepool GP surgeries

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A MEETING to discuss a controversial NHS England review into the future of three Hartlepool GP surgeries has been re-arranged.

The NHS England Area Team has been carrying out a review of the Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS) contract provided by three Hartlepool GP practices – Fens, Hartfields and Wynyard Road.

The review says the contract provided by the surgeries has not attracted the level of patients expected in five years in order to provide value for money but the proposals have caused outrage among residents.

APMS is one of the ways NHS England Area Teams have to enable them to commission primary medical services within their area.

NHS England is proposing closing the Hartfields surgery and merging the Fens and Wynyard Road practices.

Patients had until Monday, September 29, to respond to the consultation exercise.

Councillors who sit on Hartlepool Borough Council’s audit and governance committee had been due to formally consider the outcome of the consultation, and formulate a response to the proposals on Friday, October 10.

As the fully analysed findings of the consultation will not be completed in time for the meeting on October 10, the meeting will now take place on Thursday, November 20 at 1pm, in Hartlepool Civic Centre, in Victoria Road.

Conservative councillor Ray Martin-Wells, chairman of the audit and governance committee, said: “I’m disappointed that the full findings will not be available by October 10.

“I feel that the committee cannot respond to the proposals without having considered the fully analysed findings for each of the GP practices and the results of the stakeholder consultation and therefore it has been decided to re-arrange the meeting for Thursday, November 20.”