By Faye Wasilowski
A lack of recruitment of doctors may lead to the closure of six GP surgeries across Liverpool.
A fixed term contract for the practices will come to an early end after problems with recruiting permanent doctors emerge.
Temporary doctors, otherwise known as Locums, are being heavily relied on at an extra cost to the surgeries. This in turn affects the quality of care given to patients.
Primary Care Connect, a non-profit organisation set up by Liverpool GPs, will stop managing the services by the end of June 2019.
It is a question of whether these practises can be run under new management, or if their patients can be simply transferred to other nearby practises. This decision will be in the hands of the individual practises.
The Clinical Commissions Group (CCG) are in the process of writing to all Primary Care Connect patients to explain the steps it is taking to decide what happens next, and invites people to share their views on the matter.
The practises to be considered are: Primary Care Connect Everton Road, Primary Care Connect Anfield Health, Primary Care Connect Garston, Primary Care Connect Netherley Health Centre, Primary Care Connect West Speke and Primary Care Connect Park View.
Chair of NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissions, Dr Fiona Lemmens said: ““We know that this news will cause concern for patients, and we are working hard to get to a decision about what happens next, so that we minimise any uncertainty.”
She continued: “It’s really important to stress that however we decide to move forward with these practices, all Liverpool patients will continue to have a GP practice. There is no suggestion of reducing GP services in Liverpool; this process is purely about which practices those services are provided from.”
The Department for Health were contacted, but denied to comment.
In their 2018 Budget, the Government announced that an extra £20.5bn over the next five years is to be rewarded to the National Health Service, despite a lack of funding for the training of doctors and nurses.
Dr Fiona Lemmens added: “For the time being, Primary Care Connect patients should continue to use their practice in exactly the same way they do now – they don’t need to do anything differently or take any immediate action.”
Primary Care patients can share views and any concerns they may have by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0151 247 6409.