Patient group set up for crucial changes
CRUCIAL changes at a city doctors’ surgery has prompted the creation of a group to address patients’ concerns during its transformation and beyond.
Patients at the 63 Lincoln Road Surgery in Peterborough have formed a new patient group and held their inaugural meeting on Saturday.
Patient groups are not unusual in the city, however the timing of the creation of the Lincoln Road group is important as it comes as the surgery is set to embark on a major change which will have implications for both patients and staff.
The surgery was one of those identified under NHS Peterborough’s review of city GP surgeries as needing to merge with another surgery to create one larger health centre.
This will see the surgery merge with North Street Surgery, with a business plan for a new, merged surgery currently being put together by managers at both practices.
Standing up for patients’ rights will be Nicky Hampshaw, who will chair a committee of six patients which will meet monthly.
She said that on the whole patients were positive about the changes, but concerns have been raised about whether people will still be able to see their regular nurses and GPS.
She added that it was important that the group is there to reassure and find out information on behalf of patients.
She said: “Quite a few patients are pleased about having the merger, but of course there are concerns about whether people will be able to see the same doctors. We will be discussing with the senior partners and the practice manager what’s going on in the future and all the details that come with it.
“We have already spoken to some patients about this and told them that if they are receiving treatment or have a regular GP then this will continue.
“And if people have any problems getting through on the phone or they aren’t available for appointments until after 5pm, this is the sort of information we need to know so that we can feed it back to the management and come up with ideas to change.”
While the major changes imposed on GP surgeries have not been met with universal acclaim in Peterborough, notably from patients and practice managers at surgeries earmarked for mergers or closure such as the Alma Road Walk-in Centre, Mrs Hampshaw says the reaction to the creation of a new surgery for Lincoln Road and North Street has gone down well.
This is because, she says, the facilities at Lincoln Road are not modern enough to cater for everybody’s needs.
She said: “The building is not fit for purpose. For a long time I had to use a wheelchair and the building is not really wheelchair accessible.
“It’s also difficult for parents trying to fit double prams through the doors. A new facility really is needed.”
The surgeries are expected to submit their business case to NHS Peterborough for the new surgery by the end of this month.
The 63 Lincoln Road Patient Group meets on the first Saturday of every month at 11am at 63 Lincoln Road, except for every third meeting which will be held on same day and time but at the Church Street Surgery in Werrington.
launch: The first meeting of the Lincoln Road Patients’ Group.