NHS Brent were present at a Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting which I attended at Brent Town Hall last week. Many may have read in the local press about a recent process that NHS Brent undertook to validate the names which they deemed to be ‘inactive’ and take out names that did not respond to letters from them.
Brent has a fluid population and it may well be that the NHS is spending money on patients that no longer live in Brent. This is something the NHS cannot afford given the cuts that it is being forced to make by the Coalition Government.
I asked a question to NHS Brent on the practicals… ie. if I felt ill tomorrow and wanted to see my GP and found out my name had been struck off their list, what would happen. I was reassured that it will be extremely simple for me to simply get treated and re-register with my GP.
At the beginning of this meeting, the context of these changes was introduced where it was mentioned that the NHS in Brent has to carry out its duties with fewer resources. So secondly, I asked whether this context had changed given the Prime Minister’s announcement last week following the Government’s ‘listening excercise’, to which the answer was simply NO.
Many may know the work that we have been doing to lobby the NHS Brent board to resurrect a GP Surgery Practice in the Burnley Road area. We have some great news on the campaign which will open up the chances of a new practice coming in.
After lobbying from patient groups, local beneficiaries, the Brent Labour Group on the Council with myself, Deputy Mayor Aslam Choudry, Councillor Leslie Jones and Councillors Hunter and Sneddon, in August this year the executive management team of Brent PCT agreed a shortlist of options for the future of patients who are currently registered at the Willesden Centre for Health and Care.
Three options were outlined at the patient meeting on the 12th August. The three options were:
- Transfer of the management of the Burnley Road practice via an open tender process
- Transfer of the management of the Burnley Road practice to a restricted list of existing practices within Brent
- To discontinue the Burnley Road practice and to transfer the patients to other GP practices in the area who have spare capacity.
After undertaking an in depth analysis of these options in September and October 2010 findings were reported to the Health Select Committee on the 14th October. The recommendation of option 1 was then put forwad to the NHS Brent Board meeting on the 25th November 2010 and this is the option that is being pursued.
An open tender will increase the chances of attracting a GP Practice into the area. Well done and thank you to all that have been involved in the campaign -I cannot thank you enough. This has stopped the dispersal of 3,000 patients to surgeries around Brent which quite frankly would have been chaotic.