Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, has welcomed the reassurances provided by NHS England and the new interim provider of services at Circuit Lane Surgery, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Berkshire Healthcare) and that four of the existing five GPs at the surgery will continue to work there, at an update meeting held on Friday 5 December 2014.
More than 100 people attended the meeting held at Southcote Primary School, which was initiated at Alok’s request. The meeting was organised to provide an update to patients of Circuit Lane Surgery about Berkshire Healthcare’s plans for the running of the surgery from 1 February 2015 and how NHS England intends to run the commissioning process for confirming a long-term provider.
Alok, who set up a working group that has been engaging with NHS England to feed in patient views into the commissioning process since September, welcomed attendees to the meeting, thanked those who had been involved in the process to find a new provider and took part in the questions and answers session. Alok thanked NHS England in particular for running an efficient process selecting an interim provider which is well known to patients and focussed on providing excellent continuity in care.
Matthew Tait, Director for the Thames Valley region at NHS England provided an outline of what NHS England had done so far in the commissioning process and provided an overview of the timetable for securing a long-term provider for the surgery. Mr Tait went on to introduce Berkshire Healthcare to attendees as the new provider of Circuit Lane, making clear that Reading Healthwatch, the Circuit Lane Patient Participation Group, and the Local Clinical Commissioning Group had all been involved in the process of selecting the new provider.
Bev Searle, Director of Corporate Affairs at Berkshire Healthcare and Dr Jeremy Lade, Clinical Lead at Berkshire Healthcare gave a presentation in which they outlined what the Trust would do to ensure patients were provided with continuity of care, as well as issuing assurances that the organisation intends to work in partnership with people to improve service provision, where possible, during the contract period.
Berkshire Healthcare also confirmed their interest in being the long term provider at Circuit Lane Surgery.
Alok Sharma said: “I know from speaking to patients at Circuit Lane Surgery that the most pressing issue is that they continue to receive an excellent service and that the care that they receive is not disrupted in any way. I am therefore absolutely delighted that Dr Horne, Dr Jarman, Dr Garside and Dr Adams will all be continuing their work at the surgery and that we have a new provider with an excellent track record providing other local services and one committed to taking on additional doctors to serve patients at the surgery.”
Alok continued: “Berkshire Healthcare outlined a very positive vision at the meeting for the running of Circuit Lane Surgery and I absolutely welcome the commitments that were given to patients by NHS England about the robust process for confirming a long-term provider. I will continue to engage closely with NHS England and local patient groups to make sure those promises to local people are kept over the coming months.”