The collapse of a long-standing General Practice is always a devastating event for the community. It is extremely sad for the staff, GP Partners, wider primary care system and most importantly for the patients. The reality however, is that the closure puts significant pressure on the remaining local practices and primary care system. Patients all need and deserve a local Practice in their community to provide their medical care.
The majority of North Harbour patients live in Cosham, Wymering and Paulsgrove. There are only two other Practices that are local to this area, who will inevitably need to care for these patients: The Portsdown Group Practice and The Drayton Surgery.
Drayton, Portsdown and the Integrated Care Board (ICB) have worked closely and jointly every step of the way over the last two months. This united approach and planning by the two practices and the ICB is the real positive story here and should be highlighted.
We have worked tirelessly together to provide a solution to provide ongoing medical care to the majority of the affected patients. This was never going to be straightforward and is not a position that anyone would have wished to be in, but that is what happens when a Practice closes suddenly.
We will aim to provide an efficient service that is responsive to all patients’ needs. To achieve this, we have recruited additional members of our multi-disciplinary teams, including extra GPs. There are however a variety of team members besides GPs who can provide appropriate Primary Care. Many patients benefit from contacts with specially trained members of staff such as physiotherapists, clinical pharmacists and psychologists rather than a GP. If patients need to be seen by a GP then this is arranged. The evolution of Primary Care to a modern, sustainable model is an ongoing project that we are fully invested in.