What's going to happen to Fairstead Surgery?

What's going to happen to Fairstead Surgery?

Published by Grace Mcgachy
1:12pm 22nd January 2020. (Updated at 1:33pm 22nd January 2020)

Health bosses will consider other options when it comes to a King's Lynn doctors surgery.

Healthcare leaders say they have listened to local people over the potential closure of Fairstead Surgery.

Its future was under review by Vida Healthcare. 

 

The original plan was to close Fairstead Surgery and patients could be seen at the Gayton Road or St Augustines surgeries.

But the proposals proved very unpopular with local residents. 

Today the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said the surgery would be remaining open.

Vida Healthcare, which runs six GP surgeries in West Norfolk, has been consulting with the public over its plans, 

A public consultation run by Healthwatch Norfolk and supported by NHS West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) ran from May 30 until August 30 last year.

Melanie Craig, Chief Officer of the CCGs in Norfolk and Waveney, said:

“We would firstly like to thank everyone who has contributed to this public consultation.

During the consultation period we attended public meetings and also took part in discussions with local councillors which provided valuable insight into the feelings of local people and the real need for health services which are appropriate and accessible.

Vida Healthcare has listened very carefully to what local people have told them, and as a result of this, and at their request we are supporting them to consider further options.

A recommendation not to accept the preferred option will be taken to West Norfolk CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee meeting later this month.

The Fairstead branch surgery will remain open as we explore these options. 

doctor surgery

“It is clear is that the people of Fairstead need to access good quality primary care services so that they improve their health outcomes.

This may mean accessing health care from a different place or in a different way.

With this in mind we need to think more widely and to develop different options, taking into consideration the feedback we have received from local people.

These days GP practices employ a wide range of staff, not just GPs, to look after patients.

Who patients see will increasingly depend on their needs, for example they might get to see a specialist pharmacist to make sure they are on the right medicines or a specialist nurse to help manage ongoing health problems.

It is a model where lots of staff work together under one roof and Fairstead branch surgery does not enable us currently to work that way.

We have also embarked on a wider piece of work to consider the capacity of primary care estates in the wider King’s Lynn area.

We will continue to look at this with an open mind and from every angle to try and find a sustainable solution that works for local people and all the partners involved.”

The recommendation will be considered at a meeting of the CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee on Friday, 31 January. 

The meeting will be held at the West Norfolk Deaf Association in King’s Lynn between 1pm and 3.30pm.

It will be held in public and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. 

You can read the report on the findings of the consultation on the Healthwatch website.

County Councillor for Gaywood South Thomas Smith greeted the news as a “Right and Just” conclusion.

"For far too long the threat of closure has loomed over Fairstead surgery which has long served an area of considerable need, at last our cry of “Improve not close” has been heard.

Patients have a right to expect a good and conveniently placed service, and the conclusion reached by the CCG that there is a need for services on the estate to continue both in the short and long term is Right and Just.

The current health and wellbeing of the average Fairstead Resident is below the national average, and we need a good local surgery to support the work being done by the county council on improving public health.

This decision, right and just though it is, would likely not have been reached were it not for the considerable effort and dedication of residents in supporting their surgery.

As a councillor it has been my considerable pleasure to work with them for the right outcome.

Vida Healthcare and the CCG are now able to work together on improving the day-to-day services, and I and other stakeholders will do all we can to support them.

We need more GPs in West Norfolk, and attracting them is much easier with secure surgeries for them to work in.

The recent announcement from the Health Secretary of extra funding for Norfolk and Waveney for capital projects, and the support of the Borough Council, particular its Leader Cllr Long and Deputy Leader Cllr Nockolds, means that the long term will likely see a new building, long hoped for, for the surgery.

The wider health picture for West Norfolk looks brighter now, with extra money also going to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and the support of our MP James Wild which means that the conservatives are delivering, as promised, a better NHS for Fairstead and all of West Norfolk.

 

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