Consultations begin on future of Wainfleet surgery

Brenda Leighton, Sheila Harness and Joan Odlin at the consultation being held in Wainfleet Methodist over the future of their surgery,. ANL-161214-124532001
Brenda Leighton, Sheila Harness and Joan Odlin at the consultation being held in Wainfleet Methodist over the future of their surgery,. ANL-161214-124532001

Tough questions are being asked by patients today over the future of Wainfleet Surgery.

The first of three consultations since the surgery shut its doors in November took place at the Methodist Church this morning, hosted by health officials from the Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

It’s been such a shock. Everyone’s in turmoil.

Sheila Harness

It follows a visit to the surgery by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who raised concerns about patient safety and acted immediately to suspend its registration.

Patients learnt the future of the surgery was under review in a letter sent by the Lincolnshire East CCG inviting them to the consultations. A statement from the CCG reads: “Since Wainfleet Surgery’s registration with the CQC was suspended on November 9, the GPs have taken the decision not to reapply for CQC registration, and have decided to hand back their contract for primary medical services in January 2017.

“As the surgery is currently suspended by the CQC, and regulations do not allow another GP practice to ‘take over’ Wainfleet Surgery in these circumstances, it has been necessary for us to review the future of services at Wainfleet Surgery.”

It also states “that the most sustainable option will be for patients to access services at other GP practices in the area”.

Patients have been able to temporarily register at Hawthorn Medical Practice in Skegness.

At today’s consultation, patients were given a survey asking them how important it is for them to be able to access GP services in Wainfleet, three similar questions on what would influence their decision on choice of new practice if their’s did not re-open and what form of transport do they use to visit their GP?

Colin Blackbourn (51) said he had been a patient at the surgery all of his life. He said: “There’s one question I’m going to ask today and that is how is Hawthorn going to cope? I have friends registered there and they start trying to make an appointment at 8am and put their phone on redial, only to get through at 9am and be told to call back tomorrow.

“If they can’t cope now, how will they with the additional patients?”

Sheila Harness (82) has also been a patient there all her life. She said: “It’s been such a shock. Everyone’s in turmoil. I’m lucky to have good health but I have friends in their 90s who can’t get out of the house. How are they going to manage?”

Joan Odlin, who has been a patient in Wainfleet for 50 years, said: “I’d have to use the bus to get into town but you won’t feel like doing that if you are not well – and a taxi would cost too much.”

Another patient, Brenda Leighton, said: “I’m diabetic and need to go to the doctors every six months for blood tests and every month to get my medication. I’m lucky we have a car but we were very shocked when we got the letter.”

Tracy Pilcher, chief nurse at the Lincolnshire East CCG. told The Standard: “We understand that this is a worrying time for patients in Wainfleet and the surrounding area, and would like to reassure people that we are committed to ensuring they can access high quality GP services locally.

“We need to hear what local patients think and what their concerns are, and this is why we have organised a series of engagement sessions whereby patients can talk with us.”

Another consultation is taking place tonight at Wainfleet Methodist Chapel and Community Centre, St John’s Street, between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. A further consultation is taking place at Skegness Hospital in Dorothy Avenue, on Friday, from 2pm to 4pm,