Report to Stalbridge Town Council (Meeting 7th March 2018)
There is little good news to report concerning the potential closure of the Dr Clayton’s Stalbridge Surgery.
I have continued to attend the monthly Patient Participation Group’s Chair’s meetings and have been invited to attend a NHS Transport Planning meeting on the 8th March. Stalbridge is on the Agenda and the meeting is at Sturminster.
You will all be aware of the Planning Application that Dr Clayton has made in respect of the Surgery premises and to convert the use to Residential.
I have been in contact with him, but he has nothing much else that he can add, save that he cannot continue to compromise and extend the Practice life beyond 31st December this year. There has been no miraculous appearance of any Doctor willing to take on the Patient List, irrespective of the Premises ownership aspect.
There are one or two local people who would be willing to buy the freehold to rent it back to the Doctor’s Practice, whoever was in that seat. There is no point in this if no Doctor can be found to run a Practice here in Stalbridge. There is also the question of whether the CCG will accept a single Doctor as being able to provide a “sustainable” practice. The present patient numbers justify two doctors.
It is still abundantly clear that the Blackmore Vale Partnership (BMVP) have no official interest in taking over this Practice or, it seems, the Patient List. They have been aware of Dr Clayton’s wish to retire for nearly three years as have Milborne Port! Taking on the List would represent a merger of sorts and is simply not on the cards and this has recently been confirmed to Dr Clayton by Dr Simone Yule of the BMVP. This being so, the eventual outcome may have to be a “List Dispersal” to be carried out by the Dorset CCG.
When Dr Clayton has formerly given his Notice to Retire or to close the Practice (on the 30th June 2018), the CCG will, at some time, have to send out a letter to all the Patients who remain on his List.
I understand that the CCG will not take any steps to “allocate” patients to another Practice and will invite them to find their own Doctors Practice and to re-register themselves with that Practice. I do not know at what time/stage the letter will be sent out, but clearly it will have to give sufficient time for that re-registration to be completed by and for around 4,000 patients. In this event, if a local patient has not re-registered by 31st December 2018 they will find themselves without a Doctor and I am unclear what the CCG’s obligations might be in this event.
The CCG will apparently supply a list of Practices that are in the locality and from which patients will be able to choose. It will then be up to the chosen Practice to accept or reject that application.
As I understand it, the receiving Practice can apply to the CCG to “close their List” if they feel it is necessary, although they will have to show good reason. This could be that they do not have an adequate number of Doctors and Nurses to meet the need. The Milborne Port Practice is under the Somerset CCG and not Dorset CCG.
My main current concern is that neither of the adjacent Practices seem to be taking any steps to be ready to cope with a surge of new patients.
Dr Clayton has said that he was lucky enough last year to shore up the Practice by recruiting some clinical staff on 12 month’s contracts. However, one has since left and two more will be going by the end of May 2018.
The Patient List as at 1st March 2018 stood at 3,903 patients.
6th March 2018