Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

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

Suffolk show day 2
Another beautiful day at the Suffolk show

Delighted organisers of the Suffolk Show have hailed the success of the 2015 event – and said it could break even for the first time in years.

Essex Police last year searched the area near Scarfe Way in the investigation into the murder of Nahid Almanea.

The teenager from Colchester, initially arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in the Salary Brook Trail on Tuesday, is in police custody.

Sizewell A and B

A study is to be carried out around the Sizewell nuclear power stations site to investigate whether people eating food produced in the area or spending time there are vulnerable to radioactivity.

Train services from Ipswich to London are returning to normal due after urgent track repair work near Norwich.

Blue plaque to commemorate the Zeppelin raids in Bury St Edmunds, Denny Bros. Unveiling by Mayor Patrick Chung.

A plaque has been unveiled in Bury St Edmunds to mark two Zeppelin raids on the town during the First World War.

Ipswich library

A 21-year-old man has been jailed after stealing alcohol worth nearly £200 and a man’s iPhone in Ipswich Library.

An onlookers view of the celebrity wedding of Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan - Vicar of St Mary's Malcolm Rogers and others looking out for the half-hour late bride

Sunday was a quiet morning so I thought I would meander along to the St Mary’s Church in Bury St Edmunds and be a fly-on-the-wall observer at the wedding of Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan – talk of which had been filling tabloid pages for days.

Cousins Entertainment's ice rink in Winchester.

The first real ice rink in Bury St Edmunds is set to make the town a popular destination for visitors this festive season.

John Walsh

The West Suffolk College student was travelling in a Vauxhall Corsa with his girlfriend at the time. She was not seriously injured.

Anger over plans for new homes in Rushmere

Planners have pledged to “robustly defend” their decision to refuse housing proposed for a “commemorative woodland” in east Suffolk, rejecting criticisms they were “rolling over” to the developers.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages