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Will it be five-year Spalding hospital "wait" for ex-Pennygate patients?

Former Pennygate GP surgery patients switched to Spalding's hospital could remain there for up to five years.

South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) meets in Spalding tomorrow (Thursday) and is expected to approve a three-year contract for the GP service - with an option to extend for a further two years.

Following the CCG's public consultations, 43 per cent of patients (44 people) wanted to keep a surgery on the west side of town while 34 per cent (35 people) backed the hospital option.

Johnson Community Hospital.
Johnson Community Hospital.

A report from Rebecca Neno, the CCG's deputy director of quality and nursing, says: "The overall preferred option in the longer term would be to provide a GP practice on the west side of Spalding.

"However, this is not possible in the immediate future and therefore a GP practice provided from the Johnson Community Hospital for the next three-five years is the most sensible conclusion to maintain safe and effective GP services for this population."

The contract will include home visiting to "ensure that all vulnerable groups are able to access primary medical services".

The report says the contract should be looked at again in a year two, or at a time when section 106 monies can be maximised, with the strategic intent of relocating any service to the west side of Spalding.

A further recommendation says the CCG should work with partners in an attempt to ensure the Into Town bus service visits the hospital.

District councillor Angela Newton, who has campaigned to keep a GP surgery on the west side of town, says she will be disappointed if it takes as long as three-five years to achieve that aim.

She said: "I would have thought that with a will - and people willing to work with them - it would have been possible to have done it before that."

The public can attend tomorrow's Primary Care Commissioning Committee, which starts at 10.30am, and the Governing Body at 2.30pm.

Both meetings are at Springfields Events Centre.

* Patients were switched to the hospital following the closure of Pennygate surgery in September, but many were upset - saying their retiring GP had offered her surgery building free of charge to health bosses - and the new hospital service sparked a catalogue of complaints.


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