Future of Costessey’s Beechcroft Surgery discussed at meeting

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 May 2012

Beechcroft Surgery in Costessey.

Beechcroft Surgery in Costessey.

Archant Norfolk Copyright

Health bosses say they hope to have found a temporary provider of GP services for a Costessey surgery by the end of June.

Concerns over continuity of care for patients at Beechcroft Surgery were also raised at a meeting yesterday, and it was revealed that some patients had left the practice due to the recent uncertainty.

The future of the surgery was thrown into doubt earlier this year, after the Taverham Practice, which runs Beechcroft alongside another surgery in Taverham, said it did not have enough partners or doctors to continue providing a service in the long-term.

The practice launched a consultation, which was due to end today, but agreed to continue running Beechcroft until the end of September, so that another provider could be found to take over.

At the Norfolk Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, Dr Alistair Lipp, medical director NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: “We hope to have identified a new provider by the end of June.” It is expected the temporary provider will only be in place for 12 months, reduced from 18 months on NHS guidance, so the primary care trust has time to put out to tender a permanent contract for running GP services at Beechcroft, in line with European Union procurement law.

Committee members, who are councillors from all of Norfolk’s councils, raised concerns over how the building, which is owned by the Taverham Practice, will be made available to a temporary provider as well as a long-term provider, and how continuity of care will be offered if a temporary provider uses many locum GPs.

Partner Dr Samita Mukhopadhyay said the partners were doing all they could to see how they could ensure the premises will be available, but she said: “The interim provider being followed on by the permanent long-term provider means its quite difficult to foresee how we will handle the premises.”

In response to a question about patient numbers she also revealed: “Some patients left the practice because of the uncertainties in the press but there’s been very few.

“There has been a slight fluctuation in our patient list. In January we have about 4,100 and now we have about 3,990, so it’s less than two hundred and patient lists do dip and rise and there’s not been trend.”

From June 7, Beechcroft Surgery will be closed on Thursday afternoons. The surgery, which in Beechcroft, will close at 1pm and reopen again at 8.30am on Friday mornings. Appointments and telephone triage will still be available at Taverham Surgery for all Beechcroft patients.

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