Hospital chiefs in emergency takeover of struggling GP practice

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Hospital chiefs will tomorrow take over a GP practice serving 24,000 patients in an emergency move caused by staff shortages.

Royal Primary Care, an arm of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, will be responsible for providing GP services to patients of the Holywell Medical Group at three of its five sites in Grangewood, Staveley and Inkersall in Chesterfield.

NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said the group’s Holywell House and Barrow Hill surgeries could not be sustained in the face of staff shortages. They will close today.

“Exceptional circumstances” are being blamed for the move which will give the trust an “emergency caretaker” role until next March. Among its priorities will be to recruit more GPs. All existing patients will automatically transfer under the new arrangements and continue to be seen at the three remaining surgeries.

Senior partner at the group, Nadine Kale, said: “The partners have been exploring ways of integrating care with other local healthcare providers for some time. However, ongoing difficulties to recruit health professionals, particularly GPs, and the financial pressures of having to use more locum doctors has driven this urgent change.

“The support provided by the Chesterfield Royal Hospital will free up more GP time to see patients which was previously spent on managing the practice”.

CCG chairman GP Ben Milton said: “The news that Holywell Medical Group would no longer be able to provide GP services was unexpected and we appreciate this may cause concern to patients. However, we wish to assure every patient that our priority is to make sure a safe and sustainable service continues and that any potential disruption to clinical services is kept to a minimum.”

Trust chief executive Gavin Boyle said: “We are delighted to step in to sustain these services for local people and we’re looking forward to bringing GP, primary care and hospital services together in ways that will benefit all our patients. We’re already looking at ways we can strengthen what’s available at the three surgeries and we hope that patients will share their experiences, and work with us, to bring about change and improvement”.

A hotline for patients will run until Sunday on 01246 512477/512475/512533/512755.