Lincolnshire NHS CCG chief executive brands Lakeside CQC report 'unacceptable' but warns no 'magic switch' for new Stamford practice
The body that oversees the county's NHS spending has insisted there is no magic switch to fund a new medical practice in Stamford.
Issues surrounding the damning CQC inspection of Lakeside Healthcare Stamford dominated questions at the latest monthly meeting of the Lincolnshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) today (Wednesday, August 25).
The meeting acknowledged receipt of a petition from Better Healthcare for Stamford, signed by 3,100 patients, calling for Lakeside's monopoly of primary care to be broken up, and for a new practice.
John Turner, chief executive of Lincolnshire NHS CCG, said they were giving 'very close consideration' to changes of all care services in line with the town's projected population growth.
He also insisted they were committed to engaging with patients over long-term healthcare needs, but warned there would be no quick fix.
"While over the long term it's clearly possible, if desired and appropriate, to make changes, any notion that somehow there is a switch we can just hit that will immediately create new services or an additional practice or whatever it maybe is a false notion," he said.
"We are fully committed to looking at the long-term structure and configuration of services, but I wouldn't want anyone to be under an illusion that it's possible, even if it were agreeable, to bring about an immediate change."
Andy Rix, the Lincolnshire NHS CCG's chief operating officer for the south, said they had received a number of suggestions from the public for potential sites for new practices.
One was for a medical centre at Larkfleet Homes' proposed 650-home development at Quarry Farm, north of Stamford.
"No approach has been made to the CCG to discuss this and no approach has been made by us to them," said Mr Rix.
"As far as we understand no formal planning application has been submitted so any formal engagement would be premature."
Mr Turner described the findings of the CQC inspection of Lakeside as 'completely unacceptable' and said confidence in the healthcare provider had been 'rocked', but believed there was cause for cautious optimism.
"They are on a very clear improvement track that is being carefully monitored," he said.
"It is still early days, but there is cause to be encouraged by the progress they are making."
The CCG are holding fortnightly meetings with Lakeside management, allied to more regular contact, as they track improvements ahead of a follow-up CQC inspection within the next six months.
"Part of these discussions are around how they engage with the public and what steps they should take about feedback," Mr Rix added.
"Both Lakeside and the CCG, and the PPG (patient participation group), remain committed to hearing all patient feedback.
"Our door is open and our support continues and will remain so for the long term."