Chi Onwurah MP yesterday met with Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health Steve Brine MP to raise the consistency and quality of health services in Newcastle.
This follows the announcement that the Ponteland Road Health Centre will be closing due to the failure of the procurement process ran by Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group. There are also fears that the Grainger Medical Practice will close, with the procurement deadline having been extended to September 2018.
In the meeting Ms. Onwurah put forward local concerns that process of re-tendering every seven years is leading to a lack of stability in GP services and not providing Newcastle residents with the care they deserve.
The CCG has argued that these procurement difficulties stem in part from recruitment difficulties, with shortages of GPs widespread across the country and particularly in inner city areas.
Mr. Brine agreed to investigate the extent of GP service contract failure and re-tendering, and to convene a roundtable in London of NHS leaders from Newcastle – including the Clinical Commissioning Group – and Ms. Onwurah as the local MP.
Ms. Onwurah commented:
“Everyone has a right to high-quality GP services but the process of frequent re-tendering every seven years means this isn’t a reality in parts of Newcastle.
“Residents in the West end of the city deserve answers as to why the Ponteland Road Health Centre is closing – and guarantees that they will be served better by the NHS in the future.
“I’m determined to continue fighting for the best healthcare provision for all of my constituents and I’m pleased that the Minister has agreed to meet with my local CCG to improve the situation.”