From the Hockley Residents Association website:
Will your GP surgery move?
Local health boss, Andrew Pike, has told doctors in Hockley that he wants to create a large ‘polyclinic’ to provide medical services for the Rayleigh/ Hockley/Hawkwell /Ashingdon /Rochford area. He plans to have this open by 2012 on the vacant plot of ground opposite the cemetery in Hockley Road, Rayleigh. This could mean GPs from surgeries across the district moving to the new site, as well as other health services.
This is a significant change to previous plans which envisaged two separate clinics covering Rayleigh and Hockley/Rochford. Patients and doctors alike have previously raised concerns about GP services having to move but the new plans are likely to upset everyone in the area, apart from the lucky few living close to the proposed site. Access will be particularly difficult for people without cars as there is a very limited bus service.
Doctors have been told that they will not be forced to move to the new clinic but fear they will have no choice as they will be starved of funds with priority going to the new centre.
The revised proposal seems to taken Mr Pike’s staff in the Primary Care Trust (PCT) by surprise but the PCT will be coming to Hockley Residents Association’s next meeting on 10 June at 8:00pm in Kilnfield House, Hockley (adjacent to the station ticket office) to explain. Everyone welcome to attend.
We certainly want to see better medical facilities for our district – and at the moment the plans are still vague. We’ve heard unofficially that the sort of clinics that the PCT are proposing normally have separate reception areas for each GP practice – so they would retain their own identity. But there could be some kind of 24-hour service there as well- a kind of mini “casualty” department, plus better facilities on site for various tests. So facilities could be very good.
Even if these facilities are superb , are we really going to expect Hawkwell people to travel to Rayleigh to see their GP? And should we think about adopting what they do at Russian polyclinics -instead of having a separate reception for each GP practice, have one reception for adults, one for healthy children and another for sick children?
At the moment it’s not clear what the proposals really mean. So it might be worth going along to this meeting -even if you don’t live in Hockley.
The HRA also supports better medical facilities but is concerned at these proposals focusing on a location with very limited public transport access. So much for environmentally friendly developments!
The recently opened Leigh Primary Care Centre may be something of a model for the proposed Rayleigh one. It was initially planned to consolidate 3 GP surgeries but 2 pulled out. If this ‘model’ is followed, it seems more likely to impact Rayleigh than other parts of the district with most GP and medical facilities clustered on one edge of the town.
So I endorse the editor’s comments that Rayleigh residents should also make their views known.
Chairman, Hockley Residents Association
Already on the site of The Rochford Independent (other good stories too about Rochford & Hawkwell issues) http://rochfordessex.com.
Could this mean the end for the Hawkwell Surgery?
The fight put up by the Hawkwell Community saved the old Dr. Sen Surgery from closure but is this proposal another threat from the local NHS?
“A DOCTOR has launched a campaign against plans to develop a new super clinic in Rochford and Rayleigh.
Dr Jamie Nicholls, of the Jones Family Practice, in Hockley, said patients could have to travel miles to see a doctor, and the personal touch will be lost.
Rumours have been circulating about derelict land next to Rosedale Court in Hockley Road, Rayleigh being the likely site for the super clinic.
GPs would be given the option to move into the new superclinic, but Dr Nicholls fears there will be no choice in the matter.”
For more information about a campaign, including a petition, to save the surgeries go to http://www.supportyoursurgery.co.uk
The William Harvey Surgery in London Road Rayleigh already covers Hockley & Hawkwell, so if you want to travel from Hawkwell to Rayleigh to vist your GP you can.
As a local resident of Rayleigh and GP for the last 9 years in Chelmsford I strongly disagree with the idea of a polyclinic.
A polyclinic will completely destroy local general practice. The patients who will suffer the most will be the elderly, terminally ill, mentally ill and those who would really struggle to travel to a surgery. Generally these patients do not have a very loud voice. These people do deserve a GP who knows them personally and isn’t based miles up the road in an impersonal polyclinic.
If we don’t campaign against these polyclinics (set up by Prof Darzi a professor of surgery who I would guess knows very little about real life general practice) then eventually all GP’s will end up having to join them, which I for one would be very sad to do.
Out of interest, these polyclinics are likely to be run by private companies who are obviously very keen to make a profit from the services they provide. Sometimes medicine and profit don’t go together very well. You can’t quantify some of the benefits of a local GP providing terminal palliative care to a patient whose family they know well and who has been with them the whole way through their journey from diagnosis to dying. I sat with a family just last week who had suffered another child die. I knew both the parents and the grandparents and although you can’t make this pain go away, as a GP who knows them well I will walk with them through this tragedy. This I do not believe would be a priority of a business whose interests are profit and target reaching.
We all need to stand up for our local GP service as one day we could be needing this personal service too.
Many thanks for your comment – maybe we could meet up with you some time and you could give us a proper briefing?
Deanne, I am in complete agreement with you, I have experience of these types of mega clinics, where you never see the same doctor twice and where there is no consistency in your treatment. They are very ‘antiseptic’ places. They can never take the place of your local GP. They may make financial sense for the local Health Authority but they certainly will not give people the same confidence as seeing your local GP.
Chris, there is a piece in the Evening Standard tonight regarding the Polyclinics.
I read the evening standard article. Odd how the government decide on a policy and despite very little support from patients or the professionals push it through anyway! Sounds so familiar for the current government!
Hopefully despite national policy we may be able to make our views known at a local level??
There’s also a balanced report on the BBC website :
The Chief Exec of the NHS confederation says:
“While polyclinics could deliver significant benefits for patients, it is crucial that a ‘one size fits all’ model is not imposed on a national level.
“It would be a mistake to assume polyclinics can always save money by moving care out of hospital, but rather we should focus on how they can allow the NHS to work in a more organised and effective way.
The Dept of Health are saying:
We are not imposing super surgeries, or polyclinics, or replacing existing services… this is about additional access and extra choice for everyone
There was an item on radio and TV this morning. The Kings Fund have just published a report on polyclinics which expresses doubts.