Meetings planned to discuss future of Hartlepool GP practices

Fens Medical Centre
Fens Medical Centre

Health bosses are due to attend a Hartlepool Borough Council meeting next week to provide more information about the future of three GP practices in the town.

The NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been invited by the Audit and Governance Committee to present the outcome of consultation and its decision on the future delivery of services currently provided by the Fens, Hartfields and Wynyard Road practices.

The practices currently have contracts to deliver medical care to their registered patients until March 31 next year, but after that date the contracts cannot legally be extended.

The CCG sought the views of patients and the wider public on three possible future operating scenarios via a consultation exercise which ended last month.

Patient groups, councillors and a union leader have expressed concerns that the CCG is not looking at any options which allows all three practices, which serve more than 7,000 patients, to remain open.

The CCG, which is responsible for buying GP services, said the option of one provider running all three sites was earlier ruled out as it would not be sustainable.

It also stressed that GPs were not being cut, but the changes are about where people attend.

The three options being consulted on is for one provider to run Wynyard Road and Hartfields practices; for one provider to run Wynyard Road and Fens; or for one provider to provide services from Wynyard Road only.

Its own Primary Care Committee will meet on Tuesday, October 25, to consider the results of the consultation and make a decision on the future of the practices.

The meeting of the council’s Audit and Governance Committee will subsequently take place on Thursday, October 27, at 1pm, in the Council Chamber at Hartlepool Civic Centre.

The meeting is open to the public.

Coun Ray Martin-Wells, chair of the committee, said: “The meeting has been convened at fairly short notice as it has been indicated to us that - subject to the CCG’s decision - adverts relating to the procurement of services will go out early next month.

“This is a chance for members of the committee to examine the CCG’s decision and decide whether any additional action is required.

“I sincerely hope that the CCG has taken on board the committee’s previous comments about all three practices and I will be extremely disappointed if this is not the case.”