Wycombe Labour asks today why the GP practice running the Cressex Health Centre has terminated its contract and what will happen to its patients.
Last month patients of the GP services at the Cressex Health Centre, including the branch surgery at Lynton House, were informed by NHS England that Principal Medical Limited (PML), which currently holds the contract to run GP services at the Cressex Health Centre, had resigned from the contract.
NHS England said that PML would finish running the Cressex Health Centre on 30 June 2015 when their six month notice period finished and that NHS England would look for a new provider of GP services to be put in place from 1 July 2015 at the Cressex Health Centre.
PML describes itself as a GP- led ‘not for profit’ primary care organisation. It is a “collaboration of local practices”, run by health professionals operating in Oxfordshire and Wycombe.
Martin Bradshaw, Wycombe Labour’s candidate for Terriers and Amersham Hill, said “My family are patients at Cressex Health Centre and I received a letter like all its other 8000 patients about the termination of this contract.
I don’t understand the new organisation of the NHS and who is responsible for doing what but I would like to know why PML decided to terminate the contract.
I was told that PML has only been running the Centre for two years but is having difficulty recruiting GPs. Well if PML is having difficulty recruiting GPs, how is another practice going to find GPs to take over?
I’ve also been told that NHS England is working with the Chiltern Clinical Commissioning to look for a new provider to take over the contract. I don’t understand this either. I thought the Chiltern CCG was made up of local GP practices. So won’t some of them be interested in taking over the Cressex patients? And if so, won’t they have a financial interest in the
contract? How can they then be involved in finding a new provider?
What I would like, and I guess the other 8.000 patients at the practice would like, is to understand what is happening. I don’t want a big multi-national company providing GPs who come and go after a few months. I want a local GP practice where I can get to know my GP and he or she can get to know my family and provide continuity. Is that too much to ask?"
David Williams, QC, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate, said “This Government is destroying the NHS. It spent £3billion on a re-organisation it promised it wouldn't carry out. The effect of that re-organisation was to take GP's away from patient care and make them NHS managers.
This Government has also cut GP funding by nearly £1 billion. Each GP now has to look after more patients and the number of GP vacancies grows. This puts stress on the remaining GPs and makes the specialism less attractive to doctors. GP morale is now rock-bottom with GP's retiring earlier and the Government is failing to persuade new doctors to train for the
specialism. And so we get a vicious circle.
We are now seeing the cracks emerge. Patients have to wait longer for appointments with their GP and in many cases give up and go to A&E. And we all know what happens then – Stoke Mandeville cannot cope.
GP practices now have to use more and more agency GPs at increasing costs and some, presumably like PML at Cressex, decide to give up.
The NHS needs to be properly funded and properly managed. Only the Labour Party will do this.”