New neighbourhoods may have to share GP surgeries

SUS-150220-113343001
SUS-150220-113343001

A NHS doctor said it was ‘unlikely’ the town’s new neighbourhoods would get their own GP surgeries.

Dr Ketan Kansagra, of Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), made the comments at the CCG’s Governing Body meeting at The Hawth on Thursday (February 19).

The planned developments, Kilnwood Vale, west of Bewbush, and Forge Wood, north of Pound Hill, would share GP practices with other areas instead.

Responding to public questions, Dr Kansagra added: “I think having a GP surgery in every single locality [neighbourhood] in Crawley will be difficult going forward.”

Alan Kennedy, the CCG’s chairman, said no formal decisions had been made but added: “It’s unlikely we are going to make small practices serving small populations.

“Don’t be surprised to find out that in the future we will have larger practices working across a greater area.”

NHS England commissions primary care, which includes GP practices, working with the town’s CCG.

The CCG plans, monitors and commissions healthcare in Crawley Hospital and the community.

Mr Kennedy said the CCG planned to have larger GP surgeries, such as Southgate Medical Centre, Brighton Road, instead of traditional smaller surgeries.

He said GP surgeries’ services would be expanded and shared across practices.

Nursing teams, therapists, welfare and mental health workers were among the services planned.

Mr Kennedy said the CCG aimed to provide an ‘extensive’ range of services in Crawley to avoid patients being admitted to out-of-town hospitals.

Specialist health teams would be shared across sites and patients registered with a GP surgery could be sent to another site for treatment.

He said the changes were being made regularly and ensuring the care happened within the Crawley area was important.

He added: “We are already seeing multi-skilled teams being made available within our practices.

“The plan is also about preventing people getting ill in the first place.”

Mr Kennedy said the larger sites would help deal with the ‘overloaded’ GP practices in town.

He said NHS England was ‘recognising’ the need to invest funds in new buildings for primary care services in Crawley. He praised Amit Bhargava, the CCG’s chief clinical officer, and his colleagues for repeatedly raising of the town’s crowded GP practices with NHS England.

Mr Kennedy said Crawley Borough Council had offered buildings it owned to be used by the NHS. The Governing Body will next meet on March 19 at 1.30pm at the Hawth.