Following on from the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) decision in November to suspend Wainfleet Surgery, and the decision of Drs Dhedhi and Dhedhi not to reapply for their CQC registration and to leave the practice, Lincolnshire East CCG has reviewed the future of services at Wainfleet Surgery, which included a period of public engagement with local people.
At our Primary Care Co-Commissioning Committee held on 5th January 2017, we reviewed a number of options relating to the future provision of GP services in Wainfleet. Our decision was, whilst it is not viable to re-open a full surgery in Wainfleet, we will work towards providing a level of primary care service in Wainfleet.
We have begun to look at how this might work and we are urgently exploring a number of possibilities; the likely outcome is a branch surgery or outreach service provided by another GP practice. However, for legal and contractual reasons we are not able to comment further on plans at this stage, but we will continue to communicate with local patients.
What we can confirm is that Wainfleet Surgery will close on 17th January 2017. We are aware that there have been conflicting reports locally as to the practice’s future and have written on 11th January to all patients registered at Wainfleet Surgery to confirm the closure.
As commissioners it is our responsibility to ensure all Wainfleet patients successfully find an alternative practice. Most patients will be permanently registered at Hawthorn Medical Practice; the letter we have sent will confirm this. Some patients live outside of Hawthorn Medical Practice’s boundary area and have been asked to register at an alternative practice in the area.
Feedback from the public engagement has informed our decision making process, particularly in terms of our determination to establish a level of service locally in Wainfleet going forwards. There was also concern around the continuation of the local pharmacy in Wainfleet, and we would like to remind patients that it is their choice where they collect their medication from - equally, patients can ask their practice to record their pharmacy of choice so that all their prescriptions are sent there for collection.
Hawthorn Medical Practice has worked extremely hard to accommodate Wainfleet patients over the last few weeks and we are very grateful for their ongoing support, particularly given the relative lack of notice they had to prepare. We know some patients have raised concerns around telephone access to Hawthorn and we are working with the practice to improve this.
Whilst the decision to suspend Wainfleet Surgery was not ours, we are responsible for what happens now. Patient safety is our overriding concern and we hope to be able to confirm what level of service we will be able to provide in Wainfleet in the near future.