Closure of Dragon Cottage surgery Holmer Green
NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group was notified on 9 July that one of the partners at Chiltern House Medical Centre was immediately dissolving the partnership. NHS Regulations governing GP contracts require that the contract ceases at the time of this dissolution.
The CCG immediately awarded an interim contract to Primary Care Management Solutions (PCMS) for up to 12 months to ensure patients were not impacted and could continue to access services at their practice. This time will allow the CCG to carry out a robust appraisal and undertake patient participation.
PCMS and the CCG entered into discussions with the leaseholders for both premises within the Practice – Temple End, High Wycombe and the branch surgery, Dragon Cottage, Holmer Green. The leaseholders for Temple End are believed to be happy with a proposal for an interim extension to the lease.
The 25 year lease for Dragon Cottage ends on 29th September 2018 and the owner confirmed to the CCG on Monday 13th August that, contrary to earlier discussions, they will not be renewing the lease and will require vacant possession on the 29th September.
There are a number of options to be considered before a long term decision is made and so in the meantime, the CCG would prefer that patients who regularly attend Dragon Cottage remain registered with the practice and attend their appointments at Temple End in High Wycombe. It is estimated that this affects 3,500 patients. This approach is preferable as it encourages patients to stay with the practice and makes the option of finding a new provider for the practice more viable.
A Communications Plan has been drafted for contacting patients as well as stakeholders with the key messages being:
• The Dragon Cottage branch surgery, part of Chiltern House Medical Centre, will be permanently closing on 7th September 2018 as the lease is not being renewed.
• This is unrelated to the changes in practice management at Chiltern House Medical Centre.
• Don’t worry; you don’t need to do anything.
• Your GP appointments will now be at the Temple End site, near Morrison’s in High Wycombe.
• We are currently reviewing our options for patients in the Holmer Green area and we will make sure we involve you in these reviews so we understand what is important to you.
We will be reaching patients through:
• Direct Mail (letter sent 1st class on Wednesday 29 August)
• Practice’s Patient Participation Group
• Text message
• Social Media (Holmer Green Facebook pages)
• Press release
• Websites (CCG and Chiltern House Medical Centre)
• Display posters and GP Screen in surgery
• Let’s Talk Health Bucks
• Emails to Care Homes, Parish Councils, local pharmacies, existing suppliers and users of the Dragon Cottage
In addition, we are ensuring the following are briefed immediately, in case patients contact them:
• Healthwatch Bucks
• Social Care
• All GP Practices
A patient participation exercise will start shortly with regards to options for future plans and we will be working closely with the Practice’s Patient Participation Group (PPG) to make sure we involve as many patients in the process as possible.
This is a challenging and unprecedented event that could not have been predicted and is unrelated to the recent changes in the management at Chiltern House Medical Centre, which will continue to operate GP services as normal.
Given the impact and timing of the closure of Dragon Cottage, the CCG has stepped in to act quickly with the focus being to reassure patients that they continue to have access to GP services.