Around 600 angry residents tunred out for a public meeting in Staveley to discuss concerns about the troubled Holywell Medical Centre.
Hosted by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins the forum at Springwell Community College was a chance to discuss the group - which runs The Grange Family Health Centre in Grangewood, Rectory Medical Centre in Staveley, Holywell House in Chesterfield, Inkersall Family Health Centre and The Medical Centre in Barrow Hill.
Patients accused the group of being a “business not a surgery”, complained about records not being updated, difficulty getting appointments and misdiagnosis.
Dr Doug Black, medical director for NHS England Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, said: “NHS England Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire commissions Holywell Medical Group (HMG) to serve 25,000 patients across five sites in and around Chesterfield.
“We are responsible for ensuring that the primary care services we commission from independent GP practices such as HMG are of high quality. Such services should be safe, clinically effective and offer patients a good experience.
“We have been working since mid-November last year with the practice, North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Local Medical Committee (LMC) on implementing a comprehensive plan to deliver improvements to services and increase the number of GPs.
“For example, since January 2014, 200 extra appointments have been made available each week, thanks to the practice bringing in additional GP and other clinical resource. Access to appointments has been enhanced with a greater range of booking options, including on-line, pre-booking and telephone consultations.
“While progress has been made, there are areas where improvement has not yet been achieved. These include the further availability of appointments for patients through additional GPs and reducing the number of appointments missed by patients.
“We are also actively exploring options for the future of Rectory Road Surgery in Staveley with neighbouring practices, so that more GPs can be brought in for the benefit of patients.
“We would like to acknowledge the input from the patient survey and surgery undertaken by Toby Perkins MP. We appreciate that this has been a very distressing time for patients and their families. A number of individual patient concerns raised via Mr Perkins have been proactively followed up by NHS England; of these, six patients chose to raise formal complaints. These, along with a further four raised directly with NHS England, are now being robustly investigated with the full co-operation of the practice, and with an independent clinical review where appropriate.
“While the independent investigation by Collingham Healthcare Education Centre (CHEC), led by Professor Mike Pringle, did not identify evidence of deterioration in clinical standards and reduced patient safety, we are awaiting the Care Quality Commission’s report due in a few weeks and will follow up any adverse findings robustly. The findings of our investigations into individual patient complaints could also determine if further action is required.
“NHS England Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire is meeting with Holywell Medical Group again next week to seek further assurance regarding the sustainable future of the whole practice and quality of care for patients.”