This site is intended for health professionals only

GPs and councillor criticise plans to move six practices into single 40k-patient GP super hub

GPs and councillor criticise plans to move six practices into single 40k-patient GP super hub

A group of retired GPs have criticised a plan to move six practices into one super hub catering to 40,000 patients, calling it a ‘catastrophic error’.

The retired GPs, who had practised at the affected practices, claimed in an open letter that leaders failed to consult people about the proposed changes to their local GP services before the plans were too far along to reverse.

The doctors raised concerns about high traffic levels and lack of transport links, arguing that existing sites could be redeveloped for less money than building a new centre in the Meole Brace area.

Patients have also set up a Facebook group to question the proposals.

However, the clinical lead for the project, Shrewsbury PCN clinical director Dr Dr Charlotte Hart, said the plans are ‘not a done deal’ and that patients will be consulted later in the year.

The proposals would see the The Beeches Medical Practice, Belvidere Medical Practice, Claremont Bank Surgery, Marden Medical Practice, Marysville Medical Practice and South Hermitage Surgery all moving into the Shrewsbury Health and Wellbeing Hub.

The new hub would be co-located in one premises, and serve over 40,000 patients.

In the open letter, the retired GPs said they ‘write with concerns over your failure to consult and engage with the people of Shrewsbury about the changes proposed for general practice, before the point of no return’.

They said: ‘As regards the hub, it is self-evident it is going to be huge to cope with 40,000+ patients. The waiting room alone will be airport lounge size never mind the car park with on some days up to 2,000 visits.’

Article continues below this sponsored advert

Dr Hart wrote in a response letter: ‘The project team welcome ongoing dialogue and comments about the proposed hub. We would like to highlight again that the hub is a proposal. It is not a done deal. The outline business case hasn’t been submitted.’

She also said that NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ‘is following all the procedures laid down by NHS England around engagement and consultation’.

‘There is no secret committee that is plotting and planning to do things in secret. The public consultation will be starting later in the year and will be asking people who are registered with the relevant practices and the wider community for their opinions.’

She added that she would ‘respectfully request that these opinions are constructive and wish to enable all voices to be heard’.

‘Practices are working with their patient participation groups to ensure that those who are in favour of the proposal are also able to express their views as well as those who are not.’

Belle Vue councillor Kate Halliday also expressed concern: ‘There is genuine fear and upset among residents who are concerned about how they will access the proposed hub, which has no direct bus routes for the majority of the residents who will be expected to use it,’ she said.

‘People are also fearful about losing that essential continuity of care with their GPs. I’m really worried that many residents will simply not attend.

‘We are being told by NHS England that the hub is the only option to improve primary care estates and that there is no funding for individual practices to expand.’

The average size of GP practice lists have been on the rise, with some super-practices counting 100,000+ patients, albeit in separate locations.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Patrufini Duffy 30 August, 2022 1:45 pm

Not sure why the retired GPs actually care.
It will be really fun – you can have those group consultation things, community yoga classes and have a bake-off party for the wider communities all in the car-park. And you can have the daily PPG and complaints meetings. Oh… – because now people are afraid of discontinuity and being in a system which is inert, nameless and transactional? They’re nervous that they can’t see the same GP or anyone that is really bothered?

Don’t worry – they will Build Back Better. And there will be a new bus route, sometime never. Sick people on buses – having a day trip for their chesty cough and hip pain. Discontinuity is an expensive game – but the UK and DoH encourage it, so let’s move with the programme. Numbers game medicine is here to stay – the UK public should get used to it. Quick.
The UK is headed for a dead end – sold-off across all sectors.
The system is broken and size matters to corporations.
Money from coding. Money from future health insurance and mass drug consumption and ailment. Churn out the bulk texts and triage and hope no one notices those lost bits of paperwork and uncoded entries. Operose Healthcare will probably come and oversee affairs or a friend of that sort.
Hack down the NHS from the inside.
Force the public to buy insurance. Herd them up and bulk meaningless population based care. Lots of graphs and lots of shaming – BUT the joke will be on them, as you will have no GP Partner to blame, but the indifferent locums and managers.
Beautiful plan – set long time ago as “they” infiltrated the NHS and made/make your life a living struggle.

No worries though.
Hope that Hub has more than one toilet, more than 3 phone lines, enough Zero Tolerance posters, enough staff folders for the turnover and a good CQC manager (of-course they’ll pass, why wouldn’t they? – too big to close; just shut the rest down).