Closure of Queens Road Medical Centre
4th February 2016 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in Miscellaneous
The CCG recently announced that Queens Road Medical Centre in Leicester will be closing on 1st April 2016. Dr Lenten, the GP at the practice, has informed the CCG that he wishes to terminate his contract to provide general medical services on 31st March 2016 which means that the practice will have to close.
As a CCG we never want to see any GP practice close and we must be clear that this was not a decision either taken or influenced by the CCG. However, we must respect the decision made by Dr Lenten as it is he and the staff at the practice who will understand its operating circumstances best of all. Once we were informed of his intention to resign, the role of the CCG was to make sure suitable alternative arrangements are in place for his patients. We carefully considered the situation and, due to the short timescale involved before the contract ends, we decided that the only viable option was to ask patients to register at other city practices. This was to ensure that patients continue to have access to a GP and the services they provide.
It is important to recognise that funding for GP practices is set nationally and is not something over which the CCG has control. We do, however, have a duty to provide equitable patient care for all patients in Leicester and giving additional funds to any one individual practice is not viable. However, we do understand the pressures on local doctors and their staff from increased demand on services. It is reasonable to say that funding for GP practices has not increased in line with workloads over the last ten years, and that is something that we need to collectively address if we are to ensure the long term sustainability of our local services.
A suggestion has been made that the CCG has a strategy of focussing on larger GP practices, and that practices with only one GP are being placed at a disadvantage. We would like to reassure our patients and our local GPs that this is not the case. On the contrary, we are supporting all of our city practices, large and small, to work creatively and in some cases collaboratively with others so that they can provide additional care for patients. We recognise though that one size does not fit all, which is why practices are being allowed to decide what works best for them. Our local practices also have the opportunity to generate additional resources by choosing to provide extra services which are commissioned locally to meet the particular needs of our patients here in Leicester.
Having said all this, we do understand how unsettling changing to a new GP practice can be for patients, especially when they have been treated by a particular GP for a long time, which is why the CCG is here to support affected patients and to make the transition as smooth as possible.
We have arranged a number of drop-in sessions at Dr Lenten’s practice, where his patients can get information and advice on registering with another GP practice and we would like to encourage patients who need support to attend. There is plenty of choice available, with another 23 practices within only 1.5 miles, which is many more than in other areas of the city. The sessions will be held at Queens Road Medical Centre on Monday 8th February from 9am to 11am, Wednesday 2nd March from 3.30 to 5.30pm and Friday 11th March from 4pm to 6pm.