GP patients in Buckshaw feel left in limbo

The Buckshaw Patient Participation Group is campaigning for the Buckshaw Village Surgery
The Buckshaw Patient Participation Group is campaigning for the Buckshaw Village Surgery
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More than 7,000 patients are asking questions about their GP provision after their surgery was told its contract would not be automatically renewed.

Buckshaw Village Surgery, on Unity Place, faces an uncertain time after the decision by NHS England.

The surgery, which has patients from Buckshaw, Leyland and Chorley, was awarded a five-year contact to deliver GP services and specialist health provision back in 2009.

The contract was extended in 2014 to run until July 2015.

But without any forewarning, the surgery received notice by letter last week saying that the contract would be
terminated, and it will now be re-tendered.

A spokesman for NHS England said: “We are committed to ensuring patients have access to high quality primary care services.

“Buckshaw Village Practice is commissioned to provide GP services until June 2015 at which time NHS England is legally required to re-tender the contract under procurement law and NHS cooperation and competition rules.

“The current provider can re-tender to provide primary care service in Buckshaw Village. We can confirm whichever provider is awarded the contract, primary care services will remain at the site.

“Staff currently employed at Buckshaw Village Practice would be transferred over to a new provider should this be necessary.”

Buckshaw Village’s county councillor Mark Perks said: “The news will come as a surprise and a total shock to many, it will cause unnecessary distress and alarm to both patients and the medical professionals based at the surgery.

“In all the time it has been open, I have never heard of any dissatisfaction with the services or facilities.”

A petition has now been launched by the Buckshaw Patient Participation Group (PPG), which has more than 200 signatures.

Sarah-Jane Riggott, co-chairman of Buckshaw PPG, said: “We are horrified to hear that NHS England has started the Procurement Process and that the current contract will be terminated in 12 months.”

The practice was set up by Dr Nimal Muttu and employs a further seven GPs , two specialist nurse practitioners, four practice nurses, and a 12-strong administration and management team.

A spokesman from the surgery said: “We cannot understand why NHS England has chosen this option, which is only one option available to them, and worry about the possibility of another provider being forced upon our patients.”

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle is also backing the surgery.

He said: “This is a disgraceful situation,

“Dr Nimal took a leap of faith five years ago to provide a new GP surgery in Buckshaw Village to provide good quality local care for residents.

“He is now facing a legal challenge which could see his patient list taken from him and given to a third party on a technicality.

“This news will cause significant anxiety and distress for staff and patients registered at Buckshaw.”

Ward councillor Matthew Lynch added: “Buckshaw surgery has invested in providing a good forward thinking primary care practice.

“This includes an on site GP at Oakbridge retirement village four days a week, and if a private company takes over, enhanced services like this could be lost.”