Two Lincoln GP surgeries are among four to close in the county, it’s been announced today.
Arboretum Surgery and Burton Road Surgery, both in Lincoln, Metheringham Surgery and Pottergate Surgery, in Gainsborough, will all close on January 7, 2017.
Some 11,000 affected patients are being told they’ll have until January 7 to register with an alternative practice within 0.2 miles of their current surgery.
As reported previously, Universal Health, which was brought in to manage the four practices in 2015, asked the NHS to take over its contract in July due to financial difficulties.
NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group had sought to secure a long-term provider to take over the management of the practices.
The CCG said while applications were received and evaluated by an independent evaluation panel, the bids did not meet the minimum criteria for a contract to be awarded for the provision of services.
The Lincolnite was told employers LCHS are hoping staff will not be made redundant, but will find ‘Suitable Alternative Employment elsewhere in the NHS’.
Sarah-Jane Mills, director for service development and delivery at Lincolnshire West CCG, said: “In these regrettable circumstances, we have no alternative but to close the practices.
“But patients must absolutely be assured they have the full support of the CCG to help them choose an alternative practice to register with. Ultimately, it is the patients’ choice.
“There is at least one alternative option at each of the closing practices that is within 0.2 miles of where patients currently are.
“At Arboretum, Burton Road and Pottergate there is one option for each that is within a matter of yards.”
Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) will continue in its caretaker management role at the four practices until January, 2017.
Letters have been sent to patients to invite them to a number of drop-in events close to their respective practice.
Patients have until January 7 to register with a different GP practice. If they can’t do this by that date, the CCG will automatically allocate those patients a surgery on their behalf.
Sarah Newton, chief operating officer at Lincolnshire West CCG, said: “Unfortunately, we were not in a position to offer a contract to any of the bidders.
“Patients are the key priority and we could not risk a repeat of the uncertainty they were in, back in August. And we simply could not be in a position where practices were not financially viable again. It is not fair on patients and it is not fair on staff.”
For patients at Arboretum Surgery, the following practices are currently accepting new patients: Abbey Medical Practice; Brayford Medical Practice; Glebe Park Surgery; Portland Medical Practice; Witham Medical Practice and University Health Centre.
There will be two drop-in sessions for Arboretum patients on Friday, December 2, between 4pm and 6pm, at the Abbey Access Centre in Arboretum Lodge, Monks Road, and at the same venue on Tuesday, December 6, between 10am and 12 noon.
Burton Road Surgery
For patients at Burton Road Surgery, the following practices are currently accepting new patients: Cliff House Medical Centre; Glebe Park Surgery; Lindum Medical Practice and Minster Medical Practice.
There will be two drop-in sessions for Burton Road patients on Thursday, December 1, between 4pm and 6pm at Burton Road Methodist Church and at the same venue on Monday, December 5, between 10am and 12 noon.
For patients at Metheringham Surgery, the following practices are currently accepting new patients: Church Walk Surgery in Metheringham and Tasburgh Lodge, Woodhall Spa.
There will be drop-in sessions for Metheringham Surgery patients on Friday, December 2, between 10am and 12 noon at St Wilfrid’s Church Hall in the village and at the same venue on Tuesday, December 6 between 4pm and 6pm.
For patients at Pottergate Surgery, the following practices are currently accepting new patients: Cleveland Medical Practice and Caskgate Street Surgery.
There will be drop-in sessions for Pottergate patients on Thursday, December 1, between 10am and 12 noon at Trentside Unit, John Coupland Hospital and at the same venue on Monday, December 5, between 4pm and 6pm.
Patients can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0845 602 4384 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. PALS provides confidential advice and support to patients, carers and relatives and can help with providing information about other surgeries people can register with.
They can also call the CCG helpline on 01522 515380, between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.