Thorpe-le-Soken Surgery Newsletter June 2019

Hi Folks, Doctor Carla here again!

You will all know that I’ve been warning about the changes that are afoot in General Practice and in the NHS generally for the last 10 years. What I originally started to tell you about 10 years or so ago, when we had the meetings in the WI hall are now being evidenced. I’ve no doubt that you have all seen and experienced the changes.

We now have triage to try to fit you to the right clinician at the right time. There will less GPs and a greater reliance on Advanced Nurse Prescribers and Emergency Care Practitioners. This the solution advised by NHSE to fill gaps due to lack of GPs. The promise of 5000 extra GPs by 2020 (Jeremy Hunt 2015) is never going to materialise. There are even less GPs now than 5 years ago.

Thorpe Surgery’s main aim at the moment is to try to avoid the pressure to ‘Network’- because then, instead of in-house triage call will be received via a ‘hub’ and all personal service that hasn’t been currently eroded, will ultimately be obliterated. I have put on the PPG Facebook page various videos from the BMA explaining Networks and ICP’s in the recent past.

The staff at the surgery are battling to keep your service as personal and consistent as possible-despite the ever increasing constraints. They do take all your comments- both positive and negative to heart. Most of the comments lift our hearts and are very encouraging and we are extremely grateful for this, it’s what we come to work for. Unfortunately I do sometimes receive calls from receptionists/nurses/GPs in the evening because of unwarranted criticism they have received from patients. Really folks we are all in this together. I’m writing to try to encourage you all to work with us and understand the difficulties from our side of the problem too-as we try to understand yours and as we try to defend your service-even though you may not always see it that way or may not feel that way to you.

We are trying to protect Thorpe Surgery and yourselves from being subsumed into a large private, nameless and faceless private Network. We might get things wrong, give you the wrong impression but fundamentally our objectives are to keep General Practice as local, safe and accessible.

Going forward the CCG may have the powers to force us to join a Network, the clock is ticking. The Networks are due to be announced at the end of May. I would encourage the local population to debate these issues, maybe via local meetings or the PPG. Thorpe and Kirby PPG meeting is 3rd June, 7.30pm at Thorpe Sports and Social Club, Station Road.

The changes are NHSE driven, they are not the ethos of Thorpe Surgery or its staff and we are making the best of what we have. We have no powers to changes it, NHSE is more likely to listen to the public voice-not ours.

Thank you for your time, Dr Carla