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Crich Patient Participation Group.

Safeguarding Patient Care in the Crich Area
Colin Hoskins, Interim Group Chair

Extended GP Availability


The Crich practice is working together with a number of other local practices in Heanor, Ripley, Somercotes, Leabrooks and Alfreton, to provide patient appointments outside ofnormal hours. There will be extra appointments from 6.30pm to 8.00pm, Monday to Friday and between 8.30am to 12noon on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. Patients can book these in the usual way, but will need to travel to Church Farm, Ripley to take advantage of these consultations, although the venue may change in the future. The intention is to make access to a GP easier for those patients who cannot attend during working hours, or those who need a helper who works full-time to go with them to appointments.

The doctor you will see there is unlikely to be one from the Crich practice, although some of the Crich doctors will be there on a rota basis. The doctor you see will have full access to your patient notes. It will be a full GP consultation – in other words, you won’t be told to ‘take these pills and see your own GP on Monday’.

The intention is to satisfy the Government’s wish for a seven-days-a-weeks GP service. In an ideal world with limitless resources the extra appointments would be provided locally, at all the participating surgeries. But providing staff, lighting, heating and paying additional rent for the buildings (Crich Medical Practice doesn’t own the Oakwell Drive building) is unrealistic for the nine participating practices in nine separate buildings. It is hoped that the extra appointments in Ripley will ease the pressures on the Crich, Holloway and South Wingfield surgeries. The contract for the additional service is for an initial period of eighteen months.

The PPGs of the various practices involved would have liked to be involved in the setting up of this new facility at an earlier stage than we were. We think that is what PPGs are for. Given that, we are fully supportive of the attempt to improve GP facilities in the area. We hope it may have the effect of reducing waiting times, as well as making access easier for those working full-time.


CCG Cuts


GP surgeries provide what is termed ‘primary care’ for patients, and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which are organised groups of primary care givers, have a pot of money from NHS England to spend on ‘commissioning’ further care from hospitals, clinics, therapy services, voluntary groups etc. When the GP refers you to hospital, you are using a service that the local CCG has commissioned with the money it receives.

There are four CCGs in Derbyshire, who work together in an increasingly close consortium. Crich is in the Southern Derbyshire CCG.

In the summer of 2018 the four CCGs identified a need to make £51 million of cuts to the services they commission in the year 2018/2019. They came up with a Financial Recovery Plan.

Healthwatch Derbyshire, the patients’ voice in the county, and Derbyshire County Council, both expressed concern at the haste with which the plan was being implemented, with what seemed to be with minimum consultation and input from service-users and their representatives.

At the time of writing there have been concessions from the CCGs about proposed cuts to more than twenty voluntary groups and charities in Derbyshire. This is welcome, but is likely to be just a delay, and most of the cuts will happen eventually. And we will inevitably see cuts and changes to many other services. For example, no sooner had we written a piece about Mental Health Together in the last edition of CACN, than it was decommissioned and the staff went off to find other jobs.

The Crich PPG is dismayed by the suddenness with which the need for cuts seemed to be identified, and we are concerned that important services for some of the most vulnerable will be curtailed. The Financial Recovery Plan aims to minimise the effect of the cuts, especially to the most essential services, but some losses are inevitable, and highly regrettable.