Connect with us

Health

East Cambs Council leader recognises seriousness of GP surgery closure

Avatar photo

Published

on

Realisation of the seriousness of the issue prompted a swift turnaround in support from a council leader to help Sutton near Ely as they woke to news their GP surgery was to close.

On February 23, Cllr Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, had this to say to followers of a Facebook group in the nearby village of Witcham where the closure of Priors Field surgery at Sutton was being discussed.

“I’m not actually the councillor for Witcham anymore, as the boundaries changed in 2019,” she responded to one comment.

“I see you have tagged Lorna (Dupre) who is your councillor together with Mark Inskip.

Advertisements
Pictures
Advertisement

2,000 people have signed a petition begun by Cllr Lorna Dupre to retain the surgery at Sutton

2,000 people have signed a petition begun by Cllr Lorna Dupre to retain the surgery at Sutton

“So sorry to hear about this – really awful to lose a village GP service.”

But one villager was having none of it.

He responded to Cllr Bailey: “You are the leader of the district council though – and often post political views on various village sites that you aren’t the councillor for – so why not actually offer to help alongside the ward councillor?

Advertisement

“It is not just Sutton issues – the one remaining GP partner at Haddenham left – so I understand it is being covered by a partner from Soham. The local NHS is not in a good place.”

By Monday Cllr Bailey had moved to publicly support those opposed to the closure.

Weekend chat with MP Steve Barclay 

“I have managed to speak with Steve Barclay (the local MP) over the weekend between many meetings he had to attend. Steve is very concerned about the situation and is working to clear space in his diary,” she said.

Advertisement

“I have also spoken with Lucy Frazer (the MP for SE Cambs).

“Everyone is concerned, primarily for Sutton practice patients, as well as the impact of dispersing nearly 6,000 patients onto other practices.”

She said: “This morning I have spoken to a senior management officer in the Cambridgeshire NHS system.

“There are a number of pieces of work going on to see what solutions can be found. I’m sorry I can’t say more at this time, but I wanted to assure residents that everyone involved is totally focused and looking for positive outcomes if at all possible.”

Advertisement

Cllr Bailey oversaw a press release from East Cambridgeshire District Council on February 24 – the day after she had directed villagers at Witcham to their ward councillors.

Council expresses it concern at closure

The council said it was “urgently looking into the announced closure of the GP practice at Priors Field on 31 March 2023”.

In a statement the council said: “We understand this is due to the current GPs retiring and the practice being unable to find new doctors who want to take on the surgery.

Advertisement

“While we expect to be formally notified of the closure by the NHS on Monday, we are concerned about the impact on residents and the speed at which it is happening.

East Cambs Council says it has contacted Stephen Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire, which includes Sutton, to ask him urgently to look into the issue.

East Cambs Council says it has contacted Stephen Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire, which includes Sutton, to ask him urgently to look into the issue.

“The council has already contacted Stephen Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire, which includes Sutton, to ask him urgently to look into the issue.”

Cllr Bailey added her thoughts to the council press statement.

Advertisement

“We all know the NHS is a stretched resource and I am extremely concerned about the impact of the closure of the GP practice on residents,” she said.

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

“Fenland Group Practice, which runs the surgery, and NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough are committed to ensuring all patients have access to high quality GP services and care in the future and our understanding is that they are working to provide a smooth transition for patients to an alternative GP practice.

Accessing new service

“However, it is inevitable that many village residents who use the surgery and do not have easy access to a vehicle will be concerned about which new GP practice they are being allocated to, whether and how they have a say in that, and how they will access their new service.

Advertisement

“With stretched local resources, I am also very concerned about the effect of taking on large numbers of new patients on other GP practices.”

“GPs are independent practices and while we as a council, cannot affect the decisions of the Fenland Group Practice we are doing everything we can to raise this at the highest level of Government and we are also exploring any other community support we can provide.”

NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough announced today that it remained “committed to ensuring all patients have access to high quality GP services and care, now and in the future”.

In a statement about the Priors Field surgery closure it said: “We are continuing to work to find a primary care solution that meets the needs of local people.”

Advertisement
Priors Field Surgery at Sutton near Ely says the doctors who run the surgery are “taking retirement from the practice” and will terminate their contract on March 31.

Priors Field Surgery at Sutton near Ely says the doctors who run the surgery are “taking retirement from the practice” and will terminate their contract on March 31.

NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said an additional face to face public meeting to discuss Priors Field Surgery will be held by NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough on Thursday 9 March at 6.30pm – 7.30pm at Sutton Primary School.

It also revealed that the venue of a meeting on Tuesday March 7 – originally scheduled for the surgery and later moved to the pavilion at Brooklands Hall – had now moved to the main hall itself.

That meeting starts at 10am.

Advertisement

Their statement added: “All meetings will provide the opportunity for local people to ask any questions about the changes and to discuss how we can work together to consider how primary care services could be delivered in the future for the people of Sutton and the surrounding areas.”

Tuesday 7 March 2023

  • Public meeting 1:   10am – 11 am, Brooklands Village Hall, Sutton, CB6 2QQ
  • Online public meeting 2: Online meeting: 6pm – 7pm, join via online via MS Teams.

Thursday 9 March 2023

  • Public meeting 3: Public meeting:  6.30pm – 7.30pm, Sutton Primary School, Sutton, CB6 2PU

There is no need to book in advance for any of the meetings.

Advertisement

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – a patients ‘watchdog’ – said today it was concerned by the closure “and the subsequent reallocation of 6,000 people to surrounding GP practices”.

Their statement said: “We are working closely with colleagues at the Integrated Care Board (ICB) to advise on public engagement and communications.

“However, the closure of such a large rural practice has serious implications for the people of Sutton, especially those who are older, have long term conditions and/or do not have access to their own transport.

“We are calling on the ICB to secure the provision of at least a branch surgery in Sutton and work with other local authorities to enhance the local transport offer, including community transport and Dial-A-Ride.

Advertisement

“We are hopeful that some solutions can be found that will reduce the worst impact on local people.”

2,000 people have signed a petition begun by Cllr Dupre to retain the surgery

https://www.change.org/p/save-gp-services-at-priors-field-sutton-ely?source_location=search

 

Facebook

Read More

Police briefing ahead of arrests Police briefing ahead of arrests
News5 hours ago

Cambridge: Children arrested for robbery, theft, harassment, threats to kill and knife crime

Arrests made in Abbey ward and Cherry Hinton

Cllr Shepherd and Chief Supt Paul French Cllr Shepherd and Chief Supt Paul French
News5 hours ago

OPINION: Cyclists get a ‘wake up’ reminder – could it happen in Cambridgeshire?

Tannoy system piloted by NE Lincolnshire Council

CA-business-award-student-winners-with-Michael-Bates-Derrick-Holmes-Brian-Kett-and-Peter-Dennis-of-Wisbech-BPMC CA-business-award-student-winners-with-Michael-Bates-Derrick-Holmes-Brian-Kett-and-Peter-Dennis-of-Wisbech-BPMC
News6 hours ago

End of year achievements celebrated at Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech

Awards presented across all departments of the academy

(left) Imogen Grant, former student at Stephen Perse Cambridge and lightweight world champion rower and (right) Bethany Shriever, former teaching assistant at Dame Bradbury’s Junior School and BMX gold medallist. Photo credit: Stephen Perse Cambridge (left) Imogen Grant, former student at Stephen Perse Cambridge and lightweight world champion rower and (right) Bethany Shriever, former teaching assistant at Dame Bradbury’s Junior School and BMX gold medallist. Photo credit: Stephen Perse Cambridge
News6 hours ago

Stephen Perse Cambridge schools cheer on their Olympic hopefuls

'Great role models who continue to inspire our students'

Horsefair car park. Town Centre, Wisbech Tuesday 23 July 2024. Picture by Terry Harris Horsefair car park. Town Centre, Wisbech Tuesday 23 July 2024. Picture by Terry Harris
News13 hours ago

Horsefair Wisbech 35,000 sq ft discount store and new car park ‘will boost footfall’

NewRiver offer massive vote of confidence in Wisbech

Trio of Cambs Lib Dem MPs (from left) Ian Sollom, the new MP for St Neots & Mid Cambridgeshire, MP for South Cambridgeshire, Pippa Heylings and Charlotte Cane, MP for Ely & East Cambridgeshire Trio of Cambs Lib Dem MPs (from left) Ian Sollom, the new MP for St Neots & Mid Cambridgeshire, MP for South Cambridgeshire, Pippa Heylings and Charlotte Cane, MP for Ely & East Cambridgeshire
News15 hours ago

Cambridgeshire MPs vote for action on sewage dumping, cost of living and NHS in King’s Speech

Cambridgeshire Lib Dem MPs challenge on key issues

Dr Nick Valley – part of his ‘memory bank’ of photographs from a long and distinguished career, many of them spent serving the people of March, Cambridgeshire Dr Nick Valley – part of his ‘memory bank’ of photographs from a long and distinguished career, many of them spent serving the people of March, Cambridgeshire
News16 hours ago

‘Thank you all from bottom of my heart for all your loyalty and support and I will not forget you’

I have tried my best to follow Elaine Stutard's legacy

Five Dances, choreographed by Arielle Smith, is a modern ballet with a large cast of men and women dressed identically Five Dances, choreographed by Arielle Smith, is a modern ballet with a large cast of men and women dressed identically
News16 hours ago

London City Ballet ‘fast, vibrant, inspiring’ at Cambridge Arts Theatre

Classical and contemporary ballet with the freshest possible edge

24 complaints made about Peterborough City councillors since February. PHOTO: Terry Harris 24 complaints made about Peterborough City councillors since February. PHOTO: Terry Harris
News1 day ago

24 conduct complaints made about Peterborough city councillors in just 6 months

One complaint relates to postal vote handling

Workers at Asda Wisbech are angry over a litany of issues Workers at Asda Wisbech are angry over a litany of issues
News1 day ago

Asda workers at Wisbech strike over ‘cuts in hours, bullying management and poor training’

Asda rejects the claims made by the union