A petition with more than 3,100 signatures calling for an end to a monopoly on GP services in the Stamford area will go before healthcare commissioning bosses on Wednesday.
However, the board of NHS Lincolnshire CCG will only be asked to “note” the campaign saying it is “for information purposes only”.
The petition was launched by Better Health for Stamford after Lakeside Healthcare Stamford became the single provider of NHS doctors in the town, taking over three surgeries, one of which at the beginning of August received a damning report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and another of which has since closed following a merger.
In a letter to CCG chairman John Turner, the group’s organisers said the petition response equates to 20% of the town’s population and 10% of the provider’s total patient list.
“We believe the situation should never have been allowed to become so serious, and that patients’ welfare should never have been sacrificed for what has developed into a lamentable and failed tenure by Lakeside in Stamford,” said the group.
“Unfortunately, as with most monopolistic situations, when the competition reduced, so did the service provided.
“Better Healthcare for Stamford will continue to campaign for Lakeside’s long-suffering patients until commissioning bodies take seriously the appalling and totally undeserved treatment they have received, since long before the COVID pandemic.
“This issue now appears to provide a cynical excuse for the lack of care, when we know there is clear evidence of other surgeries in the surrounding regions providing far better care for their patients.”
The report before the CCG said it was “currently considering matters relating to the future structure and configuration of services in Stamford” and that further analysis would take place and be reviewed.
“The immediate focus of the CCG is to support the practice and to liaise with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure that the shortcomings identified in the recent CQC report are addressed as a priority,” it said.
On receipt of the CQC’s report earlier this month, Lakeside said it was addressing the issues raised and focusing its efforts on addressing concerns.