Next steps for family doctor (GP) services in Manningham

NHS Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has assured the long-term future of family doctor (GP) services in Manningham.

Members of the CCG’s primary care commissioning committee (PCCC) met this month to consider the future of three GP practices whose short-term contracts are due to come to an end in March 2018.

Their decision will see existing surgeries with long-term contracts taking on additional patients, improving their ability to recruit and retain key staff and enabling them to consider offering a broader range of services to the community. 

The three practices – Picton at Whetley Medical Centre, Picton at Westbourne Green Community Health Centre; and Local Care Direct at Manningham Health Centre – serve around 7,000 people across Manningham. The temporary contract at each practice is due to end in early 2018, resulting in inevitable change in how healthcare is delivered for those people registered at the surgeries.

Each of the three practices are operating under a short-term contract, either a temporary extension to a current contract or a temporary contract, all of which end next year. As a result the CCG has been consulting local people about their needs for the future.

People who took part in the consultation said that they wanted to see the same GP team to increase their continuity of care and that changing the service provider every few years did not help with this. Easier access to appointments, and having a broader range of services under one roof (such as diabetes clinics, minor surgery and blood testing), also featured strongly in the feedback.

The CCG’s decision was also based on staff views and opinions, a review of the patient lists of each practice, the health needs of the local population, the geographic spread of patients within the area, and the condition and facilities available at each of the surgery buildings.

The PCCC noted that there are 15 GP surgeries within a one-mile radius of Manningham and it will offer for some of them the opportunity to take more patients onto their list through a robust application process. The premises used by the three surgeries will be available to existing practices to use, if they require, in order to expand the long-term capacity of practices in the area.

Patients will continue to use their current GP practice in the coming months. They should notice no immediate change and need to take no action at this point. The CCG will write to everyone affected by the decision, advising them of the changes. The surgeries that people attend now will remain open until all patients have been allocated to their new practices. Patients can also choose their own new GP practice at any time.

Helen Hirst, Chief Officer at Bradford City CCG, said: “We appreciate that changing local GP services can be unsettling but we have a duty to do all that we can to develop high quality, responsive and robust primary care services that are equitable for all the communities we serve.

“We think this is the best way forward for patients who have told us quite clearly that they value continuity of care from the same group of doctors and staff. Allowing existing, high performing surgeries to take on more patients will make them more attractive to clinical staff seeking employment, helping them to recruit and retain the right people to ensure continuity of care.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took part in our public consultation into the best way forward for primary care in Manningham. Feedback from this and from patient participation groups was considered carefully as part of this decision and will continue to have a key role in moving towards a positive outcome for the local community.

“We will work closely with the three temporary providers, patients and the local community to ensure a seamless transfer of care.”

Patients do not need to take any immediate action and will receive a letter with further information in the coming weeks. However, anyone who would like to move practices ahead of the changes is able to register with a GP surgery of their choice. All practices in the area have open lists and are accepting new patients.

A list of GP surgeries is available on the NHS Choices website – www.nhs.uk.