Locks Hill Surgery: Update

We have now heard that NHS England has formally approved the closure of the Locks Hill branch surgery.
Set out below is the response to the decision from our Senior Partner Dr Helen Kingston:
‘This has been a long process but it is important that right at the outset I thank the hundreds of patients who participated in the consultation process last summer as well as the extended consultation process that took place over the new year period. The input from our Patient Participation Group (PPG) has also been invaluable.

As GPs we are always faced with difficult choices. Locks Hill was a difficult choice. Leaving aside the increasing risk element and having to cope with a reduced real income and increasing demand every year, we had to query whether the £50,000 annual cost of just keeping Locks Hill open could be better spent on providing more appointments and easier access to GPs, Nurse Practitioners and other health professionals.

We must now look to the future. However, we do so having taken on board the comments and views from our local councillors, the Trustees of Fair Frome, our own patients and of course NHS England. We are very grateful for all their input.

This practice has always been vociferous supporters of public transport and particularly the ability of public transport to deliver patients to such an amenity as the local Community Hospital and the Frome Health Centre. We were therefore all delighted when on the 3rd January Frome Minibuses Limited extended their No 30 service to stop by the entrance to the Health Park at Rodden Road. This service runs every 30 minutes and of includes stops at Keyford, The Mount, Locks Hill itself as well as in the middle of town.
Additionally, we have been working closely with Frome Town Council and at the end of last year we were pleased to contribute the sum of £5000 towards the excellent volunteer car club initiative-Frome Community Cars. As a medical practice embedded in the community, we shall of course continue to listen to the ideas of those around us and with whom we live and work. Together with the extended bus service, we would certainly hope that this project at least goes some way towards helping those patients without private transport and who used to frequent the Locks Hill Surgery.

We shall also continue to work closely with our PPG. We take on board the comment from NHS England that notwithstanding our very active PPG, there are nevertheless patients outside the PPG who do not feel so well informed or engaged. At our next meeting with the PPG we shall start developing new ways in which the practice can get across our message more extensively to the wider practice population.
Following our recent ‘Outstanding’ CQC Award, all of our patients can be re-assured that everyone here at the practice will continue to strive towards building a primary care medical service that really is second to none.’

Dr Helen Kingston
Senior Partner Frome Medical Practice
Tuesday 28th March 2017

Posted March 2017