Stamford residents will not see an “immediate change” to their GP services – despite a 3,100-signature petition calling for an end to the town’s ‘doctor monopoly’.
John Turner, NHS Lincolnshire CCG’s Chief Executive told a board meeting on Wednesday he was committed to a public engagement on the future of services after residents raised their concerns over Lakeside Healthcare Stamford.
The provider has come under heavy fire after taking over all three of the town’s GPs and community group Better Health for Stamford said there had been a worsening of services.
Answering a series of questions on the situation prior to the board accepting the petition, Mr Turner said a recent damning inspection by the Care Quality Commission, was “completely unacceptable” and that “clearly, confidence has been severely rocked by this”.
He noted, however, staff were “working very hard and doing all they can to try to serve the people of Stamford”.
Bosses are getting fortnightly updates on the situation and the CCG is due to carry out a follow-up inspection in six months’ time.
He said that was the “immediate focus” but added the CCG’s primary care committee was “very carefully considering the matter”.
“We have already committed to have a public engagement with the people in and around Stamford about the long term future health needs for the town… and that will clearly, consider the structural configurations of health services,” he said.
However, he added: “While over the long term, it’s clearly possible if desired, and appropriate, to make changes… any notion that somehow there is a switch we can just hit that will immediately create new services or an additional practice or whatever it may be is a false notion.
“We’re fully committed to looking at the long term structure and configuration of services, but I wouldn’t want anybody to be under an illusion that it’s possible, even if it were agreeable, to bring about an immediate change.”
Mr Turner did not give a timescale for the public engagement, however, the CCG’s Primary Care Committee will recieve a report on the CQC report on September 15.