Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Why might your doctors’ practice be forced to close?

07:30 12 July 2014

NHS.

NHS.

Archant

A Suffolk health professional claims government funding proposals will force general practices to close or cut services.

shares

Sharon Meers, who is the business manager at Saxmundham Health, has expressed “deep concerns” about NHS England’s review of personal medical service (PMS) contracts - which she says will cut 20% from the budgets of most practices in the county.

Faced with such significant cuts, Mrs Meers claims practices will be forced to axe services such as minor injury, blood testing and wound care, that are currently only affordable because of the premium offered through the PMS contract. This, she says, will force patients to travel further for treatment, hitting rural areas hardest.

“I can see it making a real mess of the NHS and there’s already great concern out there that the fallout is going to be very major,” she said. “I am really worried for the patients because before you know it it’s already in place and there’s no way of unravelling it.”

Under the review, the “premium funding” that practices operating under a PMS contract receive to provide extra services, will be reduced from a national budget of £325million to around £235m.

NHS England’s East Anglia area team said it was committed to ensuring the national contract changes “do not destabilise local practices”.

Katie Norton, the team’s director of commissioning, also confirmed there were “no plans to reduce the total level of funding associated with practices who have PMS contract in Suffolk”.

Mrs Meers, however, claims practices on PMS contracts - which make up around 75% of those in Suffolk - will be reverted back to general medical services contracts, which do not receive a patient premium.

While she acknowledges there will be some funding available to practices that carry out additional services, she says the amount offered will not even cover basic costs of employing clinicians.

“This will mean very difficult decisions have to be made,” she said. “Practices will be looking at a significant reduction in income and won’t be able to provide the sorts of services they provide at the moment.

“Recruitment will also be an issue so practices won’t have the same clinical capacity, patients will have to wait longer to be seen and ultimately I think we will see some practices closing because of the amounts of money we are talking about.

“The big fear I have is that patients will have to travel further to get services. I think that the prime people to suffer will be those living in rural areas.”

Both NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups confirmed they were aware of the proposals and are working with the Suffolk Local Medical Committee, which represents GP practices, and NHS England, “to ensure continued good quality primary care for patients”.

Ms Norton added: “Our priority is to ensure that all practices receive fair funding to enable them to continue to provide local services to meet local needs.”

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

New Street, Woodbridge

Mrs Poppy died after a collision in New Street, Woodbridge, on Wednesday.

A double lightining strike has hit and destroyed a house. Darren Hobson surveys the damage. Picture: Stephen Huntley.

A hero father-of-six who led his family to safety following a lightning strike to his home has praised his neighbours’ support.

Libby Brown headteacher at Kyson Primary, Woodbridge.

A board of school governors has launched a fierce attack on Suffolk County Council after their headteacher had to stop work for seven weeks.

Culford Girls under 18 Hockey Team January 1990

Were you a member of the Culford girls under 18 hockey team in January 1990. Were you in the squad photographed here?

Sybil Andrews at work in her studio, circa 1980 - Photo from the book

Suffolk artists are often hidden from history, but a campaigner is hoping to rectify that.

Murrayfield Primary School.

The headteacher of an Ipswich primary school has resigned just weeks after parents criticised a decision to axe after-school clubs and the end of term disco.

Damaged bridge at Blunts Hall between Witham and Hatfield Peverel. Picture: Network Rail

Many services travelling between Ipswich, north Essex and London faced disruption this morning as emergency repair work on a bridge at Hatfield Peverel continues.

Carrie Willis is pictured at Ipswich Art School with the jug.

The mother of the little boy who accidentally broke a puzzle jug in a Christchurch Mansion mishap has contacted museums service staff in Ipswich to tell them how happy he is that the historic piece has been repaired.

Large crowds during the Maverick Festival

Maverick Festival director Paul Spencer says people have accused him of “making a deal with the devil” when it comes to the weather on the first weekend of July.

Tom Odell performs at Thetford High lodge in the last of the Forestry commission summer open air concerts of 2015 - Lee Blanchflower

Singer-songwriter Tom Odell took to the stage at Thetford Forest last night to play out the final show of the Forest Live concert series in Suffolk.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages