Below is a copy of the recent letter sent to Mr A. Geddes (NHS England) together with his responses.
Sent: 21 April 2016 13:45
To: Geddes Andrew (NHS ENGLAND)
Reply dated 27th April
Subject: Frinton Road Surgery
Thank you for your recent email.
We had a PPG meeting on Tuesday and several issues were raised.
We are uncertain of your precise role, are you managing a transition of three surgeries into a hub at Kennedy Way or just facilitating the move of the two ACE surgeries? Who is your ACE contact?
AG - My role is to Project Manage work around the option of providing the 3 GP surgeries identified into Kennedy House. Julie Goddard is the ACE representative on the project.
We attended a workshop meeting in January 2015 the outcome of which was that a three surgery hub was the preferred option and the business case was being developed around that. We were also told by NHS England (Jenni Speller) that the financial case was well underway and would be completed by the end of March 2015. This involved the setting up of teams to look at specific areas of work. It would seem that we are now duplicating the work that was previously carried out. Is this the case? If it is, this is the third time in the four years that our PPG has been in existence, that such work has been duplicated. (The proposed move from Frinton Road has been around for more than fifteen years).
AG - I understand the preferred option identified in that work last year was to include 3 surgeries at Kennedy House. This remains the preferred option and is not being revisited or duplicated.
Assuming a hub is still the preferred option and given the question mark over the move of the North Road surgery are you still planning appropriate space allocations for three surgeries and the associated extra facilities generated by a hub?
AG – the CCG have identified Kennedy house as a potential Primary Care ‘spoke’ (Hubs will be much larger with more hospital outpatient, diagnostic etc services) GP space is being assessed for the practices.
If you are now only looking at the two ACE surgeries will the business case still be robust? If this is the case then it would be sensible in our view to merge the two surgeries. They currently share staff and patients from Frinton Road can attend some clinical facilities at Kennedy Way (Epping Close). We cannot accept that any contractual difficulties are impossible to overcome.
AG – I am working with ACE on their GP requirements.
Notwithstanding issues of hubs and mergers it is still our view that given the unsatisfactory state of Frinton Road surgery and its lack of space it should be relocated to Kennedy Way.
The two main areas of concern for the patients, especially those that live in in the Holland area, are the absence of a bus service to Kennedy Way and the state of the current car park. We understand that the plan is to refurbish the car park to make extra spaces. As there seems to be some doubt over the ownership of the car park is this still the plan? Is someone looking at the problem of the buses? Whatever final plans emerge if you want the patients to be happy then these issues need to be addressed and solved.
AG – the patient concerns are understood and these will be given consideration as the project develops.
If you could attend our meeting on 9th August at 10 am Room A Kennedy Way, we would be pleased to see you. We would also be happy to meet up or discuss issues by phone or email in the interim.
AG – I will put it in my diary.
Chair Frinton Road PPG
The following information has been provided by an official of NHS England.
There are currently no plans to build a new surgery in Holland-on-Sea. In line with NHS England's Primary Care Strategy, the preferred option is to permanently co-locate three practices into the Kennedy Way site in Clacton. This would include the Great Clacton surgery, Epping Close and Frinton Road GP practices.
A business case is currently being developed which will become an integral part of the full business case to provide GP and some community services from The Kennedy Way site as a hub. At present NHS England is in early discussion with senior members of the provider organisations and we will be involving the three GP practices and their respective Patient Participation Groups and other local stakeholders as this work progresses.
Update October 2015
At the October 2015 Quarterly Meeting, Mrs Rita Garnett, Chair of the Frinton Road Surgery User Group, reported that the group had been advised that there is now no possibility of a new surgery for Holland. The only option now under consideration is an amalgamation with the existing surgery in Kennedy Way. No information is yet available as to when, or indeed if, this might actually take place.
Position February 2015
A meeting of the Frinton Road Surgery User Group was held on 17th February 2015. The group learned that a new doctor from Ranworth Surgery is now working on Mondays on a permanent basis and Dr Ahmad Al-Zuhairy has agreed to stay on at the surgery on a permanent locum" basis. However, Dr Benish Shoaib is still due to leave at the end of February and a recent recruitment advertisement has failed to produce any suitable candidates.
On the subject of a new surgery, the group were advised that current thinking by the Clinical Commissioning Group is to move to "hub" surgeries of 15,000+ patients on one site. This would enable the sharing of facilities and economies of scale. Consequently, a new surgery in Ipswich Road was deemed inappropriate and there would also be insufficient space to meet any expansion of demand over the next ten years.
The favoured option is for the current Frinton Road, Epping Way and North Road surgeries all relocating to the ground floor of the premises at Kennedy Way. The surgeries would remain independent of each other but extra facilities could be provided by the move and shared by them all.
This proposal is subject to financial approval by NHS England and this approval would need to be given before the middle of March or the impending re-organisation of NHS England and the May General Election would prevent any further action for several months.
Position January 2015
Ian Stidson, director of commissioning for NHS England's Essex Area Team, has recently told a Tendring DC committee that plans for a new surgery are moving forward. He said progression was on the back of the reorganisation of NHS England and it had maintained it's commitment to the development of a new surgery by identifying funds over a five-year plan.
Mr Stidson added the original option of the Ipswich Road site and the development at Kennedy Way, which is more advanced, were both being considered to determine which would be the most suitable. He advised that a full financial analysis appraisal of both sites was due for completion and residents would be advised which of the two sites would be the best option for a GP surgery.
Position December 2014
A meeting of the Frinton Road Patient Participation Group was held on 16th December 2014. It was reported that the recent experiment with open morning surgeries had been a great success and has been extended to 5 days a week. Furthermore, pressure on Nurse services has eased since the Healthcare Assistant increased her hours.
However, both Dr Ahmed Al Zahairy and Dr Benish Shoib have tendered their resignations and will be leaving in March. Recruitment for replacements will be commenced in the new year.
The provision of a new surgery remains unresolved. A planned meeting of interested parties was cancelled and rescheduled for 20th January 2015. Under current consideration are a new purpose-built surgery in Ipswich Road or a relocation to Kennedy Way.
Position November 2014
No further information has been received on the proposed new surgery, but a meeting is due to be held at 7.30pm on Monday 17th November at the Weeley council offices and residents are alowed to attend. The Director of Commissioning, NHS is scheduled to attend and advise on the current position.
Position August 2014
Despite requests to NHS England for an update on the proposed new surgery, no information has been forthcoming. A meeting has been arranged between the Practice Manager, ACE and Realise Health to discuss the situation.
A workshop involving GPs, Practice Manager and ACE is due to take place on 4th September to discuss the current appointments system and to consider other options.
Although a new GP is due to start on 1st September, one of the current GPs has been seconded to Clacton Hospital to head the Rapid Response team. It is hoped this will be of short duration. A new Matron has been recruited to replace the one who recently retired. However, the Nurse Practitioner has left, leaving the surgery short staffed at present. It is hoped that the nurse currently on maternity leave will be returning for one day a week shortly to help ease the situation. A review of staffing will take place fortnightly.
These staff shortages have resulted in the recently implemented twice weekly blood testing sessions being cut to one session per week. Appointments can still be made at Reckitts House. All blood test results are being properly monitored and if any problems are detected, appropriate action will be taken. This is important to note in view of the current difficulties in making general appointments.
Position July 2014
The position regarding the new surgery remains unchanged. Talks are on-going with Realise Health Ltd. In the meantime some renovation work is to be carried out at the existing surgery including repainting and recarpeting and money has been earmarked for this.
Options are being considered to improve the appointments system and a new permanent GP is to join the surgery in September.
All surgeries are now required to offer an in-house service for the collection of blood samples and two phlebotanists are being trained to facilitate this. At present blood testing is carried out at Reckitts House at Clacton Hospital and the Epping Close surgery (both by appointment only). Telephone numbers are available at reception.
Position April 2014
Realise Health Ltd. has been appointed to deal with the procurement and project management of the scheme to provide new premises at the Ipswich Road site. It will be the job of Realise Health to find a developer and, once built, the money is in place to pay for the rent for the next several years.
Position July 2012 In 2002 the PCT had enough budget set aside for a new surgery for Holland to replace the outdated, cramped converted old private house in Frinton Road. In August last year we were informed the money has now gone elsewhere and we are still without a decent surgery.