THE TOUGH-talking Conservative run Thurrock Council is set to take on the borough’s GPs with a challenging set of proposals.A document set to be put in front of the ruling cabinet proposes that they aim to “hold the primary care network” to account.The proposals have been put forward by the portfolio holder for adult social care, cllr James Halden.He states: “We will produce a scorecard to enable all partners to hold poor performance in primary care to account and act as a critical friend to drive improvements.”The council will also show leadership and work with Healthwatch Thurrock to grow patient participation groups, the GP equivalent of schools governors, who will help us hold poor providers to account and to critically raise the expectations of what the public should expect from primary care.”We often state that we want to see all schools rated as good or outstanding, but we rarely state the same ambitions for GP’s. This is wrong and it now changes. We will never shrink from holding poor performance to account, publicly”.To some this will be just the challenge local GPs in Thurrock need. They have been the subject of a number of negative stories such as the low number of health checks in Thurrock for those with learning needs as well as referrals for residents with cancer.Others may question whether such an aggressive approach is going to solve the problems of attracting the 32 GP positions currently vacant in Thurrock.But the statistics speak for themselves. At present only ten surgeries have been rated as good by the government inspectors, the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Five are rated “Good” and another five “Inadequate”.
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