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Tuesday, 22 October 2013 (3044392)
More doctors for failing healthcentres
by Tom Martin

HEALTH centres across Crosby and Litherland have agreed to an increase of 19 doctors after a showdown meeting was called last week to discuss patient's complaints.

The changes will also affect any other Sefton practices that are run by SSP Health following claims from angry patients of long waiting times and poor service.

Crossways Practice, on Liverpool Road, and Litherland Town Hall Health Centre, on Hatton Hill Road, were labelled “inadequate” when SSP Health met with Bootle MP Joe Benton on Friday October, 18.

As reported in The Champion earlier this month, the two centres have been met with widespread criticism from patients.

A meeting was called last week that involved several representatives of SSP Health and Mr Benton as they discussed the problems with healthcare.

But the additional doctors are now expected to ease the pressure on current staff members and reduce waiting times in the area.

Mr Benton, said: “Following a spate of complaints I have received recently concerning several practices in my constituency I met with the principals of SSP Health and they agreed and admitted the service provided was inadequate.

”I have received positive assurances from SSP Health the provision will at the very least be restored to that which prevailed previously and will in effect be improved upon; indeed an additional 19 GPs have now been engaged for the area.

“In view of this I have indicated to Dr Mrs Pitalia I will review the position again in a few weeks time but if the foregoing guarantees are not forthcoming and better service provided for my constituents that I will, without any further consultation with SSP Health, refer matters to the Secretary of State for Health and escalate my complaints with NHS England and the Clinical Commissioning Group.

”I shall therefore be obliged for any further comments and observations from you in the coming weeks and I give you my assurance I will not let this matter rest until a decent and proper health provision is achieved in SSP Health practices in Sefton.“

SSP Health runs over 40 GP practices across the North West of England that provide services to over 100,000 patients.

This is then overlooked by NHS England, which was created as the main body of the new health structure earlier this year.

Litherland NHS Walk-in Centre, which is located in the same building at Litherland Town Hall Health Centre, is completely separate.

A spokesperson for the SSP Health, said: ”Mr Benton was given a detailed description of the gaps in staffing and services SSP Health inherited from the previous provider who ran these practices.

“Prime Care Trusts were abolished on 31 March 2013 and we were given minimum notice and information to take over the surgeries.

”Numerous complex issues, including poor performance, were inherited by SSP Health.

“Many processes had been dealt with inadequately by the previous provider and these were addressed as a priority to establish safe services by SSP Health.

”Despite the significant challenges inherited, SSP Health has ensured that each surgery has offered medical cover every day from each site.

“The new doctors are across all the new practices.”


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