Patient power saves GP surgery

The New Surgery, Tring
The New Surgery, Tring

A GPs surgery in Tring which was threatened with closure earlier this year has been saved after its patients spoke out.

In April and May, NHS England and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) consulted people over the future of The New Surgery in Church Yard.

After the retirement of long-serving GP Tony Hall-Jones in February, patients and the wider public were given two options; either a new GP provider would be contracted, or the surgery would close and they would have to go elsewhere for their GP services.

Health bosses received 646 responses to the consultation overall, with 599 responses to the survey (422 electronic and 177 paper copies), 25 written responses (via letter and email), 18 phone calls and four other submissions including feedback from the 100 people who attended the three drop-in sessions at Pond Close in Tring.

A joint letter, sent to patients from the CCG and NHS England, said: “We have now reviewed all of the responses to the consultation and have conducted an Equality and Health Inequality Analysis report that takes into account a number of factors including practice list sizes, capacity, health inequalities, population growth, etc.

“We are now able to confirm that NHS England and Herts Valleys CCG have agreed to support Option 1.

“We have written to all patients registered at The New Surgery to inform them of this outcome and to reassure them that the current provider of services at The New Surgery – Herts Urgent Care – will have their caretaker contract extended until March 31, 2017.

“In the meantime NHS England and Herts Valleys CCG will put the contract for The New Surgery out to tender and test the market.

“While the procurement process can take a number of months we aim to be in a position to announce by the end of 2016 or early in 2017 who has been awarded the contract.”

In total, 95 per cent of those surveyed wanted The New Surgery to remain open and 93 per cent opposed its closure.

The three drop-in sessions at Pond Close were attended by 47, 35 and 18 people respectively.

The full consultation report is available on the Herts Valleys CCG website here.

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