New management plans for GP practices in Thurrock

NHS South West Essex is writing to patients, letting them know about plans to improve the GP practices which are currently run by the primary care trust.

A total of ten GP practices are currently run directly by the primary care trust; the other practices across south west Essex are run by GPs themselves. NHS South West Essex is inviting other organisations to apply to take over the management of these ten surgeries in line with national guidance.

The second phase is about to start and letters will be sent to patients at The Brambles Practice in Brentwood at the end of November. Patients can give their feedback by completing and returning the feedback form we are sending them. There will also be a drop-in session at the practice, where patients can come along and find out more.

Marc Davis, Director of Primary Care for NHS South West Essex, says: “I want to reassure patients that the standard of their care will not be affected. All employed GPs and practice staff will be given the opportunity to transfer to the new organisation if they choose to.”

Current Department of Health policy is clear that it does not expect primary care trusts to directly manage practices other than for short periods or in an emergency. By bringing in new independent management, the primary care trust will be cementing its position as a commissioner of services, rather than a provider. It means that NHS South West Essex will be able to focus on developing, buying and managing services, while providers can excel at service delivery and clinical practice.

The practices will still be NHS services, but like most other practices, they’ll be managed by an independent contractor appointed by us.

Mr Davis adds: “This process provides us with a unique chance to introduce improvements to practices and we’re really keen to hear about changes that patients would like to see take place. We will be working with practice patient forums to involve a patient representative in each local selection process.”

The procurement process will be an open, transparent and fair process, open to all interested parties who consider themselves suitably qualified to become a new providerDetails relating to the procurement process will be posted on our website at www.swessex.nhs.uk/about-us/procurement

Patients who would like to find out more about local drop-in sessions for phase two practices can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALs) on 0800 587 9159.

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