Plans to extend Kingston Crescent surgery after Portsdown Group merger are scrapped - six hours after being announced

PLANS to extend a doctors’ surgery to potentially cope with up to 14,000 new patients have been scrapped.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 12:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 7:15 pm

Ten new clinical rooms were being proposed at Kingston Crescent surgery in Buckland. This was to cope with an increase in patients after a proposed merger between Portsdown Medical Group and Hanway Medical Practice as two Hanway GPs are set to retire this year which will leave the practice ‘struggling to cope’ with just three GPs.

Patients were told Hanway’s surgeries in Hanway Road, Buckland, and Stubbington Avenue, North End, may close in order to save money.

A letter sent this morning told Kingston Crescent patients that there were plans to extend the surgery to cope with demand.

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Kingston Crescent Surgery in North End

But just hours later, the medical practice made a U-turn and announced that, due to the cost, the surgery will be not made bigger.

Mark Stubbings, managing partner for the Portsdown Group Practice, said: ‘Following a more detailed project evaluation carried out in the last two weeks, it is not, at this stage, considered the best use of valuable NHS resources to extend Kingston Crescent surgery as the money which would be required to complete an extension to the building could be better spent directly on improving patient care.

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‘Kingston Crescent Surgery was originally built to accommodate many more patients than are currently cared for there and, if the proposed merger is approved, we have now developed plans to reconfigure the building internally to create more clinical rooms at a much lower cost and also to change the way that appointments are delivered, offering appointments throughout the day, from 8am to 6pm, rather than limiting it to the traditional morning and afternoon sessions.’

The majority of staff from Hanway will be transferred to the Portsdown Group Practice, which serves 44,000 patients across six surgeries.

Hanway patients will also have the choice of being seen at other surgeries across the city which include Paulsgrove and Cosham.

The original letter sent to patients read: ‘Can we be very clear that standing still is not an option for us – our practice cannot cope, and with fewer GP partners the finances needed to maintain the way we currently do things – and where we do them from – is not sustainable either.’

The decision not to extend will be kept under review and there is potential for extension plans if there are space issues in the future.

The proposed merger will be brought before the NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group in February, with the commissioning body expected to make a decision on the plans in March.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan wrote a question to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care MP Matt Hancock asking about his assessment on NHS recruitment and retention in relation to Hanway Medical Centre.