Patients still in the dark over future of failed surgeries in Northampton and Earls Barton

Practices will stay open with access to "core clinical services" but no word on staff or GPs

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 11:10 am
Earls Barton Medical Centre

Around 9,500 patients at two failing Northamptonshire surgeries are still unclear about what happens next after caretakers took over the practices.

Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which hands out contracts for NHS services, cancelled the registrations of Earls Barton and Penvale Park medical centres on Friday (July 9).

The CCG promises both surgeries will remain open and patients will "continue to have access to core clinical services."

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Details of what the change means to those registered at the surgeries remain sparse, however.

Patients have had no direct contact from the surgery and some took to social media admitting they are still largely in the dark about what will happen.

Earls Barton Medical Centre — which took over Penvale Park in East Hunsbury as a branch surgery in 2016 — had its registration cancelled following a damning report by regulators Care Quality Commission.

Senior partner Dr Muhammed Azizullah was also removed as registered manager responsible for ensuring the surgeries' statutory obligations are met, although that does not affect him continuing to work as a GP.

Wellingborough practice, Albany House Medical Centre — which also runs the village surgery in Wollaston — is now managing Earls Barton on a "caretaker" basis after being put on stand-by to move in at short notice.

Northampton CCG chief executive, Toby Sanders, said: "The action taken by the CQC concerned the registration to run and manage the practice and not the clinical registration of any individual clinician working there.

"The holders of the registration have a right of appeal which must be exercised within 28 days.

"The CCG worked with the CQC and alongside the practice to put in place caretaking arrangements should another practice be required to step in and run the surgeries at short notice.

"As the commissioners of GP services, NHS Northamptonshire CCG appointed the caretaker practice already identified to ensure continuity of care.

"Albany House Medical Centre, a GP practice rated good by the CQC, has been appointed and have taken over the day-to-day running of both Earls Barton and Penvale Park surgeries.

"Both surgeries remain open and patients will continue to have access to core clinical services offered as before. We would ask that patients continue to attend pre-booked appointments and other clinics unless they are contacted directly by either surgery.

"These caretaking arrangements will remain in place for as long as required.

“The CCG is committed to ensuring safe, quality care is delivered for all of the 9,500 registered patients and we are actively supporting the caretaker during this period.”

Earls Barton Medical Centre's website lists 27 medical and administrative staff currently working at the two surgeries.

The CCG gave no hint whether they will keep their jobs, nor which GPs will be available for patients at Earls Barton and Penvale Park.