"Concerns about Wolds View Primary Care Unit"

About: City Health Care Partnership CIC

(as the patient),

This used to be the Bridlington GP Access Centre and Wolds View Surgery. It was put out to tender last year and the new "not for profit" company that took it over in October 2012 was City Health Care Partnership CIC based in Hull.

So far registered patients have had just one letter from this company to explain who they are and to offer us a Patient Participation Group. The PPG has not been set up and frankly we the registered patients feel we are being kept in the dark about what is going on here.

Staff have been lost and replaced with "bank" staff and locum doctors. They often seem to only have a days training on the surgery system and this leads to time being wasted whilst the doctor/nurse practitioner tries to get to your notes, write a prescription or even book a follow up appointment. I waited 15 minutes for a prescription to print only to find it was wrong.

Now we are being merged with the Minor Injuries Unit and building work has been taking place. This was dreadful. Noise, dust and the poor receptionists forced out into the corridor that acts as a waiting area to work. With just a laptop and a printer they sat for several days in the noise and dust trying to do their jobs. On one visit the dust was so thick you found your eyes stinking and your throat dry with dust. It was very unpleasant indeed.

Now the protective glass screen around the reception desk has been removed (very badly) not only making the desk look tatty but also leaving the reception staff who are mostly female exposed to danger. Remember this is a GP Access / Minor Injuries Unit in a busy holiday town which stays open till 9pm. The staff often alone here, there is no CCTV, no security guard and as far as I know no panic button. Should someone wish to they could quite easily jump the wheelchair accessible counter and attack the staff. Equally staff have no protection from being spat at something which is all to common these days. The glass screen also gave them some protection from airborne infections, many of them being put up during the "Bird Flu" crisis.

As a patient I feel that these hardworking, caring members of staff should be protected from harm. Their new employer City Health Care Partnership CIC has a duty of care to them. I would encourage them to replace the screen to protect the staff before one of them is injured by a member of the public visiting the Unit.

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Response from City Health Care Partnership CIC

Dear seaside girl

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and we are sorry to hear your concerns.

As you are aware, we were awarded delivery of the new integrated GP access, Wolds View Surgery and the Minor Injuries Unit in October 12 and the focus since then has been to work with both staff and local patient groups, to develop and enhance services to suit the needs of the local population, ensuring we deliver the highest quality services we possibly can with patients at the heart of those services. The service is still however in the early stages of integration with future developments and more communication planned including the development and launch of a practice website. It is hoped that more patients will engage with us in developing the practice further and we are still looking to get patients and service users to join a patient group - at this stage there are few volunteers however we will soon be in a position to write to those that have expressed an interest.

In response to your other concerns, we would like to give our assurances that all building work is carried out in accordance to hospital & building regulations with full involvement of the hospital infection control team. Protective screens and dust control mechanisms were in place & at no point has patient or staff safety been compromised. The service needs to be maintained during the vital refurbishment of the premises & in line with detailed plans that were provided to the local commissioners of the service as per their tender requirements. In addition, we also ensure that all new health centres are currently designed in line with current DH recommendations & reception areas are open plan to remove barriers between staff & service users. This does not compromise staff safety, which is considered in all designs & appropriate measures installed.

With regards to staffing, the service has in recent months experienced a number of staff absent due to illness & annual leave, cover has been provided however by staff from our practices in Hull and regular locums, as used by the previous provider, have continued to be utilised to support continuity during the early stages of transition. There has been no change to the GP however we have been recruiting to this post & will shortly be appointing additional GP coverage. We have also recognised a local need in Bridlington for local bank staff to support the team during periods of high demand and to this end have recruited two new members of staff who are undergoing training.

There has also been no change to the current practice IT system, & there is a program of updates for all staff in relation to systems and processes within the practice which is assessed locally to meet the local needs, national guidance & ensure safe practice. Staff identify with their line manager learning needs and since we have been operating the admin and clinical teams have accessed a wide range of training to improve a variety of their skills or develop new ones.

We hope this clarifies our position and would be happy to speak to you directly if you have any further questions. Please contact Anita Burnhill 01262 423464 or via email on anita.burnhill@nhs.net

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Update posted by seaside girl (the patient)

I notice that you don't mention your duty of care to registered patients in your response who are being kept in the dark about what is going on. Your last communication with them was in Oct 12. Nothing since then. They and not the patients at other Bridlington surgeries should be who you are talking to.

I was in the unit during the work and no extraction was working at the time. You could see and taste the dust. It was not pleasant for either staff or patients.

You knew you had won this contract before several weeks before Oct 12 but you did not bother to arrange to come in and introduce yourselves to the registered patients. They had had just 1 letter telling them very little.

Not one member of your management team from Hull has spoken to them and now you pass the buck for your communication failures onto the hardworking new administrator to deal with. This is not the person who needs to talk to the registered patients, one of your Hull management team need to. They make the decisions about the changes in the unit, they should shoulder the responsibly.

What measure have been installed to protect the staff at the unit? If someone jumps the desk what will stop them attacking a member of staff?

When will the unit be fully staffed?

The training of bank staff needs to be backed up with practical experience but I don't expect to stand at the desk waiting while this goes on. I expect to at least be acknowledged as do other patients. On my last visit this is what happened and when I came out two more patients were also being ignored. One member of staff was on the phone the other did nothing.

Frankly CHCP I and others are not impressed.

Response from CHCP CIC

Dear seaside girl

Thanks for your reply. We are sorry that we have been unable to address your concerns. Anita Burnhill, whose contact details we have provided above, is the service manager for the Wolds View Primary Care Centre, and would welcome a discussion with yourself. However, should you feel this is not appropriate, we would be happy for one of the CHCP CIC Directors to meet with you - if you would like to discuss this further please email us at engagement@chcphull.nhs.uk

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Update posted by seaside girl (the patient)

Thank you for your reply.

Might I suggest an Open Day when patients can come and meet the Hull team who are making all the decisions about our surgery?

I'm sure many of us have questions and would like to see just who it is that is now running our service. It would help your team understand our concerns and plan the future services we the patients feel we need.

Response from City Health Care Partnership CIC

Dear seaside girl

Thanks for your reply and suggestion. We will be organising an open session for all those patients who have expressed an interest to be part of the PPG so if you have not done so already please contact Anita Burnhill (details above) with your full details and we will ensure you are notified of this in due course.

Also please again be reassured that throughout the process so far we have continued to be available to patients and visitors to discuss the changes – all of which have been very positive so far.

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