Unity Health is asking patients to share their views on the future of New Chapel Surgery in Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire.
The Long Crendon surgery was temporarily closed at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March. This was done in the interests of patient and staff safety, as the layout of the building made social distancing and managing the risk of infection virtually impossible.
This situation has highlighted the fact that the Long Crendon surgery is really no longer suitable for the needs of a modern GP practice. The ageing building, which has no car parking facilities and poor disabled access, cannot be expanded or redeveloped to adequate standards. It is no longer possible to safely offer the level of service to patients that we would wish to as a modern, innovative GP Practice.
As a result of these considerations, Unity Health now believes the best course of action is to permanently close the Long Crendon surgery. We hope to apply to NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for commissioning all GP services in Bucks, to close the surgery later this year, but it is vital that we first understand the views and needs of our patients to ensure any future proposals take these into account.
Unity Health had already been using telephone consultations to assess patients across its surgeries for a number of years but has developed this and similar remote working systems further during the pandemic. Where appropriate, patients have been invited for face-to-face appointments at alternative surgeries such as Brill or Thame.
If the surgery were to close, we would transfer the Long Crendon clinicians and staff to Brill. We would plan that patients currently registered at Long Crendon would also be transferred to Unity Health, Brill to maintain continuity with their clinical team. They would still be able to see their usual GPs and nurses, and the Brill surgery has a dispensing pharmacy available for its Brill and Long Crendon dispensing patients. Unfortunately, it would not be feasible to secure premises for a new surgery in Long Crendon. We have been informed by NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group that current NHS guidelines, and its future plans, mean that new-build surgeries need to cater for a significantly larger patient population than could be served in the Long Crendon area.
Dr Anna Furlonger, Partner at Unity Health, said: “We realise many patients will be disappointed at the prospect of our Long Crendon surgery closing but unfortunately this building is simply no longer fit for the purposes of modern general practice. Although some of the coronavirus restrictions may ease to some extent over the coming months, the building’s existing issues make it impossible to maintain a high standard of safe, modern healthcare provision from this site.”
“We hope our patients agree that the ways we have assessed and treated them in recent months have been successful and we plan to continue this approach in the future. We are committed to ensuring our patients can access the most modern and effective healthcare possible at Unity Health. We believe that our proposal to shut the Long Crendon site is the most effective way to do that.”
“We are keen to hear any feedback from our patients on this proposal so that their views can help to shape any future plans.”
Unity Health will work closely with our Patient Participation Group and we would like to hear from our patients about how the proposed branch closure may change things for them and how to ensure patients continue to receive the best services in the future. You can give your feedback up until the 23rd November.
As we hope you will appreciate, face-to-face feedback sessions are not practical in light of the current pandemic, but patients will be able to feedback in a number of ways
- By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (please enter LC Feedback as the subject on your email)
- By post to: Unity Health, Wades Field, Stratton Road, Princes Risborough, HP27 9AX
- Online, via the Your Voice Bucks platform: citizenspace.com/clinical-commissioning-group/new-chapel-surgery. There is a survey you can complete here on the services you currently use and the impact possible closure would have for you.
- You can post comments through the letterboxes of the Long Crendon, Brill and Thame surgeries.
- If you would be interested in taking part in any future virtual feedback sessions on this matter, with Partners at Unity Health, please let us know and provide your contact details – including an email address. Please provide this through one of the feedback routes given above by the end of September so we have time to make arrangements.