Ashley O’Shaughnessy (Deputy Director of Primary Care, Lewisham CCG) and colleagues introduced the report. The following key points were noted:
5.1 This item is intended to provide an overview of a number of GP mergers and other specific developments in Lewisham. It follows on from the item on the CCG’s primary care strategy for general practice, brought to the committee in January 2017. The CCG said that the GP mergers and developments explained in this report are in line with the priorities of primary care strategy. They will still, however, be subject to formal business case approval.
5.2 Colin Stears, representing the Central Lewisham Care Partnership, provided an update on the proposed inclusion of Belmont Hill surgery into the Central Lewisham Care Partnership, as presented to the committee in January 2017.
5.3 The inclusion of Belmont Hill surgery builds on the existing merger between five practices (Brockley Road Medical Centre, Hilly Fields Medical Centre, Morden Hill Surgery, Honour Oak Group Practice and St John’s Medical Centre), which formed the Central Lewisham Care Partnership. The catchment areas of Belmont Hill surgery and the Central Lewisham Care Partnership currently overlap.
5.4 As with the original merger of five practices, this development will allow further economies of scale to be achieved in back-office functions, staff cover and overheads. This will benefit both patients and providers. Each practice would continue to work under their existing Personal Medical Services contracts for now. At a later stage the Partnership would look to move to one contract.
5.5 The new super-partnership would serve around 57,000 patients. 8,500 patients are currently registered at Belmont Hill. NHS England (London Region) have shown a keen interest in the model being pursued by the Central Lewisham care Partnership.
5.6 Dr Prad Velayuthan, representing the ICO Health Group, explained proposals for the consolidation of ICO Health Group primary care services in Grove Park, and the intention to develop a new purpose-built Health Centre, providing access to primary care services on a full-time basis.
5.7 Existing GP premises in Boundfield Road, Chinbrook Road, and Marvels Lane would be closed. The Downham Health and Leisure site would remain.
5.8 The ICO Health Group has recently started further public consultation to support the planning process for the new site which originally began several years ago. The practice and architects are taking on board comments received about the design and external appearance. The ICO Health Group is taking out a private mortgage to support the development as well as seeking support from section 106 money.
5.9 The ICO Health Group appreciates that travel distances will increase for some patients. They are currently looking into the possibility of re-directing bus routes. Housebound patients would also continue to get home visits. There needs to be more detailed consultation on the Boundfield Road practice, where travel distances will increase the most.
5.10 The committee suggested that that the CCG should liaise with the Public Transport Committee about the possible redirection of bus routes to better serve new GP locations.
5.11 Rylla Baker, representing the New Cross Health Centre, outlined proposals for the relocation of the New Cross Health Centre to the Waldron Health Centre. The relocation would support the optimum use of the Waldron, which is currently under-occupied. The CCG proposes that other organisations will use the site vacated by the New Cross Health Centre once the move is complete. The Waldron is around an 8 minute walk away from the existing location. Wider consultation will be carried out before a business case is taken to the CCG for formal approval.
5.12 Dr Simon Parton, representing South Lewisham Group Practice, explained the potential merger between Winlaton Surgery (with a list size of approximately 2,000 patients) and South Lewisham Group Practice. Once merged, the South Lewisham Group Practice would cover around 17,000 patients, which would help to secure the sustainability of two practices. It would provide Winlaton patients with access to new, purpose-built facilities, including a nursing suite and more consultation rooms, which have been funded through section 106 money.
5.13 Winlaton Surgery currently serves a large Sri Lankan Tamil community and engagement with patients about the merger will be key. The son of Dr Sivagnanasundaram (the main GP at Winlaton Surgery) will also be transferring to the South Lewisham Group Practice to provide improved continuity of care for patients.
Resolved: the committee noted the update from the CCG.