GPs worried about patient safety at MIIU and out-of-hours GP service

Wycombe Labour have issued a press release demanding to know what is happening at the Minor Injuries and Incidents
Unit at Wycombe hospital and to the out-of hours GP service. 

The MIIU and the GP out-of-hours service are provided by a private sector company called Buckinghamshire Urgent Care (BUC).

GPs have expressed their concerns about the safety of patients referred to the MIIU and
out- of- hours service. One said he felt the MIIU was “unsafe” and that concerns were “not
taken seriously”.

GPs have provided Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group with specific times and dates
when understaffing caused concern and an unannounced visit was made by the Director of
Quality of Chiltern CCG on 8 April. She has written a report and sent it to BUC. No further
action is planned until BUC has had a chance to comment and agree it.

The CCCG says
“It would be unfair on [BUC] to release the report prior to [BUC’s] response; the picture would
not be balanced and any factual corrections will not have been received. The report therefore
remains draft and will not be released until finalised”.

Linda Derrick, Wycombe Labour spokesperson on health said, “Wycombe Labour is grateful
to these GPs for raising concerns about the service provided by this private sector company.
BUC is taking the money and making profits but not providing the service and, according to
these GPs, is putting patients at risk.

The lack of staffing is serious and threatens the safety of patients.

Since when have private companies been able to agree reports on their performance in
providing vital healthcare for the NHS? Since when have they been given the power to delay
publication of a report until they have agreed?

Chiltern CCG should be monitoring BUC’s performance rigorously and enforcing the terms of
the contract not waiting months for BUC’s response. They should be imposing penalties on
BUC if it has not complied with the contract.

Chiltern CCG should be doing this transparently so that we can make sure that patients
come before BUC’s profits – profits incidentally which go to some members of the Governing
Body of Chiltern CCG and its Executive team as they have shares in a company which part
owns BUC.

Where is the fairness to patients in allowing BUC to sit on this report for months while
patients are at risk?

Last week WDC Cabinet member Cllr Green said he recently made use of the MIIU and was
impressed at the speed and efficiency of the system. He suggested that people could get
treatment at Wycombe in the MIIU rather than going to Stoke Mandeville. Perhaps people
know better than Councillor Green what the service is really like at the MIIU and are voting
with their feet.”

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