MP demands additional resources for Portsmouth to provide new GPs and reduced administration for GP practices in wake of the North Harbour closure.
Penny Mordaunt MP has expressed dismay at the decision to close, and the short notice involved, North harbour medical group.
Penny said, “GP per head provision in Portsmouth is low. Last week I was notified of the closure of a major practice in Cosham stating that patients will be ‘migrated’ to other practices. There was no mention of additional resourcing or staff.”
Penny continued, “This can only have been a swift decision. A couple of months ago I had discussed the new building that would be replacing the old health centre. I also discussed what contingency plans were in place for this winter should the building fail and it not be possible to see patients.”
The original plan had been for the surgery to move somewhere onto the High Street while a refurb took place. Now it seems the whole practice is closing.
Penny went on to add, “GPs are doing an incredible job to service the current demand. Some practices have asked to temporarily close their books to new patients. It is utterly unreasonable to force an entire GP practice’s patient list onto the already strained surgeries in Portsmouth without additional resources.”
“Health commissioners must recognise Portsmouth as the major city it is, with a huge volume of often above-average needs. It needs to focus on recruitment, on continuity of care and on providing an estate that is suitable.”
Penny expressed her concerns regarding large-scale disruption to those people affected, many of which will have other services delivered to them via the Cosham Health hub.
“I have raised this with the health secretary and asked for an urgent meeting with the IC board.”
Since she was notified by email, late December 2022, Penny has raised this with the Health secretary who is following up with the ICB.
Penny has also had an update from the ICB in relation to her original correspondence as constituency MP, in answer to the questions she put to the ICB about local GP resources.
In response, the ICB has advised: – The ICB will support the recruitment of new clinical and clerical staff to support practices.
Penny has asked for clarity about the new Patient to GP ratios.- which must be improved upon.
– A winter capacity scheme is also being stood up.
Penny is due to meet with the Managing Director of Health and Care in Portsmouth and the ICB. She will be seeking to support patients through the next few months. Penny stated, “Continuity of care is vital for so many people. It’s not just their GP that will be changing, it is their whole health team.”
Penny is also asking for the ‘administration process’ that Portsmouth’s practices have to go through to seek additional funding to be reduced. She said, “We know all practices need extra support. We should allocate funding on that basis and stop them from having to write long-winded bids. Cut out the red tape to get the funding to where it needs to get to.”