This site is intended for health professionals only

ICB threatened with legal action over decision to close GP practice

ICB threatened with legal action over decision to close GP practice

An ICB has been threated with legal action over its decision to close a 2,800-patient GP practice in Liverpool.

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside has informed patients at Park View Medical Centre, in Tuebrook, in North-East Liverpool, that their practice will be closing at the end of July.

It has now received a letter threatening judicial review proceedings over the decision.

Last year, the ICB ran a procurement process for the practice’s APMS contract, which was due to expire on 31 March, but failed to find a new provider.

Patients have signed a petition to oppose the closure and the practice’s patient participation group has held public meetings to voice their concerns.

A spokesperson for the ICB told Pulse: ‘We were unable to secure a new provider to run Park View Medical Centre, so the decision was made to disperse patients to other local GP practices at the end of the contract term, subject to a short-term extension to enable safe transfer of patients.

‘We have written to all registered patients to inform them that the practice will be closing by the end of July, and that they will be transferred to another nearby practice, as there are 10 practices within a one-mile radius of the Park View site.

‘We have recently received a letter about a proposed claim for a judicial review, which has been responded to and we are awaiting any further responses.’

It is unclear who is threatening legal action and Pulse has asked the ICB for clarification.

In a statement on its website, the practice said: ‘NHS Cheshire and Merseyside is now talking to other local GP practices about arrangements for patients to transfer across to them.

‘There are a range of other GP practices located within a mile of Park View Medical Centre, so we are confident that all patients will still be able to access GP services close to where they live – just as they do now.’

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, which owns the surgery building, is considering selling the property within the next one or two years, which means GP services cannot be contracted to run from the building in the longer term.

Ian Byrne, the Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, called for the ICB to ‘look at every option available’ to stop the closure.

Mr Byrne said: ‘Park View medical centre is under threat of closure – at a time when GP surgeries are under intense pressure and people are struggling to get appointments, the last thing we need in our community is a GP surgery to close.

‘So I’m calling on the ICB to look at all options that are on the table, and revisit the position that they are now in, which is to close the medical centre.’

Earlier this month, researchers at the University of Manchester found that practice closures are linked with reduced patient satisfaction with services at the surviving practices, which end up having more patients, as well as proportionally less GPs and funding. 



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

David OHagan 31 May, 2023 5:05 pm

An additional reason given for closure is around available premises.

Liverpool has had a large number of small practices.
These have been gradually closed and amalgamated with other practices.
This has lead to reducing choice and accessibility for people in some of the more deprived parts of the city.
Digital, and remote services are a struggle for many of these people.
There are individuals and practices who would like to maintain GP based care in Park View.

The ICB needs to take its role seriously, to improve availability and access to GP services for people especially in places like Park View.

David Church 31 May, 2023 9:25 pm

Crikey. But, honestly, how many Judges are fully experienced in running a GP surgery in Liverpool, and able to make a judgement that can be usefully implemented?

Trefor roscoe 31 May, 2023 9:33 pm

A judicial review is irrelevant if the practice is not financially viable. Nobody would take it on a sailing business, knowing that they could not make a profit out of it. Things will get a lot worse before they get better and small practices will disappear. It’s never been clear to me why people expect to be able to see their doctor by travelling less than a couple of miles.

David OHagan 1 June, 2023 8:49 am

Sailing is not really a useful comparison. certainly it is fun and can help someone to be healthy.
Many people cannot afford to sail, they can’t afford the time, or the cost.
They also struggle to travel to where sailing is available even if that is a couple of miles.
This might all be helped if a publicly owned and run service was set up near to them.
After a while they might become able to contemplate a career at sea and develop new businesses.
This would improve their health and that of the whole local economy.

Health is pretty important, if we don’t take it seriously we damage ourselves (as human beings, economically and ‘financially’).
It should not only be for communities which are ‘financially viable’
Especially when the financial viability is based on massively undervaluing every aspect of the ‘business’