Thursday, 21 March 2013

NHS report highlights lack of understanding

The below is a copy of a report submitted by the Commissioning team, to the CCG team, for their cluster meeting on 6 February.  It is full of inaccuracies, as usual, and highlights the team's complete lack of understanding of the impact the Centre and its closure will have on patients in and around Ilkeston...  Shame on you NHS Derbyshire for refusing to listen to your patients... again.

6th February 2013
Report Title: Ilkeston Family Practice and Walk in 

1. Background and context
Further to a number of papers presented at the Confidential Board, this paper provides confirmation of the closure of the Ilkeston Family Practice.

A five year APMS contract was awarded to Integral Healthcare Partnership in 2009 as part of the National Equitable Access Programme that required PCTs to establish services from 8am to 8pm daily. The service was to offer primary care medical services as a normal practice and to provide open access for registered patients, and a walk in service for non-registered patients, via an arranged appointment or on a “call in” basis.

The service did not develop as planned and the provider failed to meet the planned activity in both registered patients and open access contacts. Following discussions between the PCT and the Provider, it is clear that the service is not financially viable for the provider to continue until the originally agreed contract end date of 31st March 2014.

It has therefore been mutually agreed, that the contract should be terminated early, and the date agreed is 28 February 2013. Letters were sent to the registered population of the practice advising them of the closure and requesting that patients register with alternative GP Practices in the Ilkeston locality. The PCT is monitoring the numbers of patients leaving the practice and registering elsewhere. There are seven practices locally with open lists that will be able to receive the patients, including West Hallam Practice.

Following agreement to the termination date the PCT arranged two public events to explain to patients and other stakeholders about the plans for closure of the GP Practice and Walk in Centre element, and to advise of alternative local services for patients to access.

The public meetings were held on 18 December 2012, and 8 January 2013 where PCT commissioners, CCG representatives and PPI team met and explained the rationale behind the decision to close the services. In response to the challenge that no public consultation had taken place prior to the decision to close, the PCT has made it clear that this was not a planned change and was in response to an issue with the provider not meeting the planned activity for the contract.

2. Matters for consideration

It was clear from the public meetings that patients using this service objected to its closure, although commissioners were able to explain that any perceived impact upon access and urgent care would be mitigated by the alternative local services available including other GP Practices, MIU and NHS 111. In addition a pilot scheme led by the LAT & Erewash CCG to increase access during the winter period across GP Practices in Erewash has been agreed which will explore surgeries opening seven days per week for booked appointments. The pilot scheme will have the majority of practices participating, and it is planned to commence from 4 February 2013, for a period of 8 weeks. The outcomes expected will be a reduction in the use of MIU in Ilkeston and reduced use of A&E by enabling more patients to be seen locally within their own practice, offering more access and choice. It is anticipated that this proposal will support the needs of patients locally.

3. Assessing Equality Impact
• Better health outcomes for all:
Patients will be able to receive a wider choice of access to planned care with the majority of practices in the Ilkeston locality opening longer hours, and the availability of more clinical services will have a positive impact upon health outcomes.
• Improved patient access and experience:
The access for services should be easier and similar for all patients. The pilot scheme via Erewash CCG will help investigate how weekend services support patient care in primary care services and its effects across the community and its service provision. Significantly, access as well as giving patients a better experience overall for their healthcare needs is an essential part of the pilot.
• Empowered, engaged and well-supported staff:
The provider and commissioner mutual agreement to terminate the service was due to the financial non-viability of the service due to the provider being unable to attract the agreed planned activity within the contract schedule.

4. Actions and recommendations
The Board is requested to note The planned closure of services at Ilkeston Family Practice and Walk in Centre as from 28 February 2013. The pilot scheme for access being developed by Erewash CCG is planned to commence on 4 February 2013 to support access to primary care.

Keith Mann – Primary Care
Vikki Taylor – Commissioning Director
22 January 2013

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Paper highlights ignorance of patients needs...

Please find below a copy of the briefing paper submitted by NHS Derbyshire to the Scrutiny Committee, as an update following closure of the centre.  Once again, they have failed to listen to their patients, and ignored all of the input we have tried so hard to give them...

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

RIP Ilkeston Family Practice and GP Walk In Centre... will be sadly missed by many.  A tragic loss to the community.  So cruelly taken away...

So, today, 28 February 2013, the Ilkeston Family Practice and GP Walk In Centre no longer exists.

And who would have thought it would have happened?  We certainly didn't - because it shouldn't have.

After the news broke in the media on 27 November, it then took a further seven days before NHS Derbyshire sent a letter to patients affected.  They even back-dated the letter, to try and make it look like they hadn't forgotten us, but emails gained through the Freedom of Information Act proved that the letter was incorrectly dated.  It was apparent at this point, that this was a very badly managed project.  If they were prepared to lie about the date of a letter, what else were they trying to hide?

When news broke, it caused a lot of anger within the town of Ilkeston and beyond.  This was a vital service, and for it to be taken away in less than 12 weeks time, without any prior communication or consultation was unacceptable.

A campaign team quickly formed, and the battle began.  We launched a website, a facebook account, a twitter account and a petition - so everyone could have a voice, and share their views - something which NHS Derbyshire chose to ignore.

Two public meetings were held by NHS Derbyshire, to which more than 200 people attended (despite one being in an evening a week before Christmas and the other with only six days notice).  The meetings could only be described as shambolic.  Residents from Ilkeston and beyond, young and old, gathered to raise their concerns, share their views and demand answers to their questions, whilst giving possible solutions to the issue.  They got nothing.  The representatives from NHS Derbyshire caused confusion, gave out inaccurate information, and failed to present any credible argument for the closure.

So, what are their 'published' reasons for the closure? There are three that they have regurgitated and spun over the past three months:

- the Centre was a duplication of service. NO - this is not an acceptable justification.  The centre WAS the only service outside of Nottingham and Derby to provide access to a GP 12-hours a days, seven days a week, 365 days a year - and without an appointment.  84 hours of access to a GP per week.  All other surgeries within Ilkeston offer less than 40 hours access per week.
- the Centre was under-utilised. NO - the 'targets' that were generated for the Centre were produced at a national level, when walk in centres were first established, and are based on no scientific reasoning. In addition, some local GPs had been very critical about the opening of the Centre as they saw it as a threat to their business.  As a result of this, it was agreed that the Centre would not force patients to register, but still have full access to the care offered. The Centre played a big part in supporting access to patient care to other surgeries across the Erewash region.  In addition, no advertising was carried out, in order to work in harmony with GP surgeries. 
- the Centre was 'financially unviable' - NO - we now live in an age where we measure the price of everything and the value of nothing. Not everyone has access to a car in Ilkeston.  Not everyone can afford to pay £40 for a taxi journey to and from the Walk In Centre in Nottingham or Derby. This Centre saved lives.  This centre is NOT financially unviable.  It is a cheaper alternative to A&E departments, it is a cheaper alternative to Out of Hours Doctor.  It is a cheaper alternative to an ambulance journey.  Enough said.

In less than 12 weeks, more than 5,000 people signed a petition against the closure, more than 1,500 people joined the campaign on Facebook, 300 people followed us on twitter, there was media coverage every week - even Ilkeston-born TV star Robert Lindsay got behind the campaign to say no. Hundreds of letters were sent by frustrated patients to NHS management, to our MP, to the media... the list goes on.

And guess what they did?  Yes, that's right. Nothing. They ignored their patients.  They refused to clarify any issues.  They tried to pretend we didn't exist.  And remind me... who pays their wages?

So today, our much loved Centre, which has saved many people's lives, and improved the quality of healthcare provision to Erewash residents over the last four years no longer exists. And do you know what else no longer exists? Our trust and faith in NHS management...

RIP Ilkeston Family Practice and GP Walk In Centre.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


More than 5,000 have signed petition to say ‘NO’ to closure of Ilkeston Family Practice
and GP Walk In Centre

With the closure of the Ilkeston Family Practice and GP Walk In Centre just days away, a protest will take place outside the Centre on Friday 15 February at 16.00 – 18.30.

All patients from the Centre are being encouraged to attend to show their support in overturning the decision. Organisers want NHS Derbyshire and Erewash CCG to review the decision, and complete the process properly, adhering to the requirements of patient consultation before deciding the fate of the Centre.

The closure of the Walk In Centre is already hitting patients hard.  There is now only very limited access to GPs during the weekend period, and Out of Hours service is being stretched, resulting in patients forced to travel to Nottingham and Derby walk in centres.

Campaign organiser, Amanda Jackson, said: “It is really disappointing that NHS Derbyshire and Erewash CCG have refused to listen to their patients and our concerns over the closure.  They have made the wrong decision, at the wrong time and it gives the impression of the wrong priorities for healthcare provision in Ilkeston. The Centre was a model of how healthcare should be provided to the local community in the 21st century and its closure is a step backwards in service provision for Erewash”.

Through the petition, which has now been signed by more than 5,000 people, NHS Derbyshire is being asked to put the health needs of the local community first and to carry out a proper review, including patient consultation. 

16.00 – 18.30

The closure, scheduled for 28 February 2013, was announced by local media on 27 November, with no prior consultation or communication to patients.  With more than 1,500 people registered at the GP Practice, and more than 9,000 appointments held at the Walk In Centre during the last three months, its closure will have a huge impact to Ilkeston and surrounding areas.

In just 12 weeks, more than 5,000 people have signed a petition to save the Centre, including Ilkeston-born TV-star, Robert Lindsay.

For further information about the closure, people are invited to visit the campaign website which has been set up - which also includes details about how to sign the online petition. 

Friday, 8 February 2013


This week, we had an exclusive interview with Archie - the world-famous boxer, who is throwing his weight behind the campaign to save Ilkeston Family Practice and GP Walk In Centre.

During a recent photo shoot, which he kindly agreed to waive his normal fee for, Archie spoke of his sorrow...

"I'm gutted.  Know what I mean, Harry?  We need to keep on fighting, until NHS Derbyshire see some sense.  Know what I mean, Harry?"

"You all need to sign that petition now, know what I mean, Harry?  Go to the website now, and just sign it. Know what I mean, Harry?"

Don't let Archie down - sign the petition now -

Thank you Bellini's!

A big thank you to Bellini's and all their customers.  The petrol station and local store, situated on Heanor Road in Ilkeston has collated more than 1,000 signatures for the petition to say 'NO' to closure of OUR centre - the Ilkeston Family Practice and GP Walk In Centre, based inside the Ilkeston Community Hospital.

The petition, launched 11 weeks ago, following the shock announcement of the closure of the centre has now been signed by more than 4,500 people, and organisers are determined to reach their 5,000 target.  Local star, Robert Lindsay, is just one the thousands to support the campaign to save the centre.