South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Primary Care Commissioning Committee met on Thursday 31 January 2019, to make a decision on the future of GP services for patients previously registered at the Pennygate Health Centre.
The committee’s preference was to see the development of a GP practice on the west side of Spalding, however, since this is not currently feasible, the committee agreed to approve a contract procurement for a new GP practice to be based at the Johnson Community Hospital, with the option to move when an alternative site on the west side of the town becomes available. It was acknowledged that as housing developments progressed this was likely to increase the demand for GP services to be delivered on the west side of Spalding, therefore, it was agreed that the contract will provide the ability to be flexible in line with the expected growth of Spalding.
Detailed feedback from a series of engagement events held late 2018 was presented to the Committee and played a key role in its considerations. The CCG recognised how important transport links to Johnson Hospital are and discussions with local councillors and Sir John Hayes, MP, are ongoing to see how local needs can be met. In addition, the parking arrangements, particularly for disabled patients, are an important consideration.
“Whilst I know many people wanted to see an immediate move to premises in the west of Spalding, this is not possible immediately, but we will work with developers and others to identify a site/alternative premises over the next two years.” explains Hilary Daniels, Chair, Primary Care Commissioning Committee. “Providing high quality GP services and continuity of care for our patients is vitally important. We know many people are happy with the Johnson GP Centre, but we recognise there are challenges that need resolving urgently around public transport, parking at Johnson Community Hospital, and access to repeat medications, and we will work with local partners to do this.
“The current interim arrangement at the Johnson GP Centre expires at the end of September 2019, and between now and then we will undertake a contract procurement to identify a longer-term provider of services. Crucially this contract will allow us the flexibility in the future to look again at options in the west of Spalding when we know more about housing developments on this side of the town.”
Sir John Hayes, MP, added, “I am anxious to make sure that people in West Spalding are able to access high quality GP services when they need to, and I will continue to work with the CCG and local councillors to ensure this happens.”