TWO senior doctors have today denied rumours that GP practices in Gosport are facing closure.
The Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group said messages are circulating on social media stating Stoke Road Medical Centre was closing and that others in the town were under threat.
It may be reports of same-day services being centralised at the war memorial hospital have caused some people to make false assumptions about the GP practices, but they will all still be open for business.Dr David Chilvers, lead of the Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group
But the rumours have today been quashed by Dr David Chilvers, chairman of the F&G CCG, and Dr Donal Collins, who is leading work in the area to transform GP services for people which involves all 11 practices in the borough.
Both Dr Collins and Dr Chilvers acknowledged some GP practices were under considerable pressure caused by the national problem of GP recruitment and the huge demand on services.
Dr Collins said: ‘One thing is very clear, without change the existing network of GP practices in Gosport will be unsustainable in the mid to longer term.
‘That is why we are all working together to mitigate this threat.
‘The GP practices are working together to see how same-day appointments can be offered differently, so everyone who needs advice or to be seen that day is offered the support they need.
‘But there are no plans for any existing Gosport practices to close.’
A CCG survey to find out more about patient’s thoughts on same-day appointments generated 1,400 responses.
One idea is to use the Gosport War Memorial Hospital as a hub that would offer same-day appointments.
It would be run by local GPs, nurses and staff from the 11 Gosport practice, however the CCG wants to reiterate this does not mean any will close as a result.
Dr Chilvers said: ‘It may be reports of same-day services being centralised at the war memorial hospital have caused some people to make false assumptions about the GP practices, but they will all still be open for business.
‘This new system will considerably relieve some local pressure points on GP practices. It offers exciting opportunities for us – and I am sure will be a model which will be adopted in many other parts of the country which are facing the same issues as we are here.’
Under the new system, patients will phone their GP practice as normal and, if they ask for a same-day appointment, the receptionist would take some basic details from the patient and arrange for a nurse or GP to call them back.
Patients would be contacted in order of clinical priority with the nurse or GP having a detailed conversation with them. If the nurse or GP thinks they need to be seen they will be offered an appointment at the hospital.