I had a meeting on Friday with Jan Ledward, the Chief Officer of the Liverpool CCG about the current consultation on the future of GP surgeries at West Speke, Netherley health centre and Garston hospital. The current provider Primary Care Connect (PCC) has given notice that it cannot continue after July 2019 though there is 33 months left on the contract.
I am very concerned that West Speke and possibly Netherley Health Centre may close and people be forced to go further away to find a GP. It looks like the GP services at the Garston Hospital will be consolidated there, so hopefully patients won’t find much of a change to their arrangements. The threat that West Speke and Netherley might close is because once a GP contract has been let out on an APMS contract, as these have, Tory Government policy stops them being returned to ordinary GP contracts. This leaves the CCG having to either get another GP practice or Company to take them on or close the provision and distribute patients to other practices.
Please do tell the CCG what you think if you are a patient at these practices. There is a public consultation meeting for West Speke taking place on Wednesday 20th February, 10.00am to 1.00pm at Speke Neighbourhood Health Centre, 75 South Parade, Speke, Liverpool L24 2SF. You can also sign my petition and fill in my survey to help me represent the views of local people in my discussions with the CCG.
I think it is wrong that in some of our poorest areas, Government policy dictates that GP contracts will only be able to continue if they are taken on by another practice and they can only do this if a profit can be made from them. It is is clear that there is particular health need in the communities of Netherley and Speke that means these services should be continued where they are. The CCG and other local GP practices who are considering whether they can provide these services in their current locations are hamstrung by the Government’s insistence that the type of GP contract on offer cannot be changed.