Following an earlier consultation in January for patients registered at Ruddington’s Church House Surgery, it’s been revealed the next, proposed stage is to make our village practice part-time permanently.
Pre-pandemic, the Shaw Street doctors was open from 8.30am to 6.30pm weekdays – except on Thursdays when it was 7am to 12.30pm. The latest plans from The Village Health Group (VHG) would see its hours halved to 8am until 1.00pm on weekdays on a permanent basis.
A letter sent to VHG patients and stakeholders explains: “General practice has remained open throughout the pandemic and patients have continued to have face to face appointments where a clinical need has been identified. The changes are being suggested for two main reasons: operational resilience of the workforce and a sustained reduction in patient demand for face to face appointments at the branch surgery over the previous 4 year period.”
It continues: “The number of registered patients at Church House does not generate sufficient patient demand to provide General Practice services across full core hours. The proposed changes seek to match face to face clinical capacity provided to the face to face clinical demand by providing a proportionate number of appointments for the population for their demand. These appointments will be provided within the proposed reduced operating hours. This will enable VHG to continue to offer patient services from these small local sites whilst maximising operational resilience of the delivery model. Providing full opening hours across all four sites is no longer operationally viable.”
By “small local sites” VHG means Ruddington and Sutton Bonington – which will also be subject to permanently reduced opening hours if these cutbacks are approved. Its surgeries at Keyworth and East Leake will “…remain open for full core hours, ensuring there is no reduction in service to patients for General Practice services from the partnership. The aim of changing the opening hours is to allow for redistribution of our staff, improving services during our busiest times and allowing provision of better care for our patients” the letter states.
At other times Ruddington patients ‘phone calls would be answered at its two full time surgeries instead. However, VHG advises that anyone informed that they require a face to face appointment, but cannot attend in the mornings, would have to go to their Keyworth Surgery – 3.4 miles away.
In order to make these cuts to opening hours, VHG first needs to get the approval of NHS Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) – the organisation responsible for planning and paying for healthcare in Nottingham & Nottinghamshire. As part of its consideration the ICB wants to understand what Church House Surgery patients think about the proposed changes.
You can either:
- Fill in and submit the survey here: https://partnershealth.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/village-health-group-access-survey
- Fill in a paper copy of the survey available for collection from Church House Surgery
In order to influence the outcome of these proposals, patient feedback needs to be received by Sunday 14th August 2022 at the latest. After this time, all the information gathered will be reviewed and included in a report for NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB to make a decision on VHG’s proposed changes.