Campaigners fear the troubled Holywell Medical Group Practice will fall into the hands of a profit-driven company at the expense of patients not being able to access medical care.
North Derbyshire Save Our NHS Group has raised concerns after two of the group’s five surgeries in Chesterfield and Staveley were closed and the practice had to be taken over by the Chesterfield Royal Hospital Trust as a caretaker.
And as the practice is put to tender in September, Save Our NHS fears this will attract multi-national healthcare organisations seeking to run the NHS for profit.
Jeannie Robinson, of Save Our NHS, said: “We need a big campaign to challenge this. In the meantime, patients in the practice and in particular Barrow Hill, one of the most deprived areas of Chesterfield, will have real problems accessing medical care.”
The Holywell group’s Holywell House and Barrow Hill surgeries closed in May and the Grange Family Health Centre, Staveley-based Rectory Surgery and Inkersall Family Medical Centre have continued to offer services to all affected 24,000 patients under the hospital trust’s Royal Primary Care.
The Holywell group blamed its collapse on GP and staff recruiting problems and financial pressures of locum costs. North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group - which manages resources - explained at a Derbyshire Health Scrutiny Committee meeting in June how the practice had become financially unsustainable.
The hospital trust has seen the change as an opportunity to integrate services and develop acute and primary care.
Derbyshire County Council Health Improvement and Scrutiny Committee Chairman Sean Bambrick stated the tendering process is beyond the committee’s remit, but it will be liaising with agencies to ensure patients’ needs are met.
Jayne Stringfellow, Chief Nurse at NHS North Derbyshire CCG, said there is a defined process for the procurement of services and the CCG will ensure guidelines are followed. The CCG also has a plan to enable patients to have their say and it aims to meet monthly with the HISC.