Dr Leigh Griffin and Jo Chambers of Shropshire County PCT and Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust say health plan has to go ahead (From Ludlow Advertiser)
Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting LU NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Dr Leigh Griffin and Jo Chambers of Shropshire County PCT and Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust say health plan has to go ahead
8:00am Thursday 3rd May 2012 in Letters
WE know that many of your readers will have been following the development of the new hospital and relocation of the GP practices in Ludlow.
At both the primary care trust (which is responsible for GP services) and the community health trust (which is responsible for the community hospital), we are aware that some residents have asked whether it is possible to retain a GP practice, or keep a satellite practice within the town centre of Ludlow, as well as running the two surgeries in the new community hospital at the Eco Park.
Through this letter, the PCT would like to offer some explanation why, regrettably, it cannot support this approach The PCT has a limited budget and must prioritise GP practice developments across the county to ensure the effective use of taxpayers’ money. The PCT has an agreed prioritisation process, to enable all proposals for new GP practices to be assessed taking account of any safety considerations as well as the potential benefits to patients. A satellite service will mean duplication and increased costs, which are not economic. Going ahead with a satellite facility would take funding away from other GP schemes across the county. The PCT’s review of the Ludlow area has shown that there would not be enough demand to justify an additional investment in a satellite surgery.
It has been asked why the town centre GP practices must move in the first place. We have worked closely with local doctors and clinicians for the last few years and they support the proposed relocation. The relocation will bring a range of benefits to patients through closer working between GP and hospital services, including quicker access to a range of hospital tests.
The GPs will be able to work closely with hospital staff and it will allow them to develop new skills and offer new services, such as endoscopy, more extensive minor surgery procedures and managing fractures. A small branch surgery nearby, would dilute the benefits of having the health facilities together.
The current two GP surgeries are also inadequate in many ways and funding for the scheme is dependent on bringing the GPs and hospital together on one site.
It is important to point out that all of the GPs that currently work at the two town centre practices support the proposed move.
We are sure many of your readers will be aware of this, but we would like to reassure everyone that we have listened to concerns however, unfortunately the PCT cannot support a new or satellite practice in the town centre.
From the Community Trust’s perspective, there will be substantial benefit to patients through increased local services, improved links between the GPs and inpatients at the hospital and easy access for patients visiting their GP and requiring diagnostic tests. The approval of the new hospital build has, to date, required the innovative approach of combining primary care, community and hospital services on one site.
Moving forward, the PCT has heard, and continues to listen to residents’ concerns around accessibility and transport issues, and we are working to address them where we can. The Community Health Trust is also working closely with transport providers and other partners to help ease some of the concerns of patients in the centre of Ludlow. This includes discussions around bus routes and potential on-demand bus services.
Both trusts, the local GPs and the League of Friends of Ludlow Hospital all support the proposals, and genuinely feel they represent the best way forward and will deliver the greatest benefits for the vast majority of people from Ludlow and south west Shropshire.
DR LEIGH GRIFFIN, JO CHAMBERS, CHIEF AND DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SHROPSHIRE COUNTY PCT AND SHROPSHIRE COMMUNITY HEALTH NHS TRUST.