Brighter Future for Ely's Doctor's Surgeries

PUBLISHED: 11:46 02 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 04 May 2010

AFTER months of uncertainty and complaints about poor service, patients at Ely s Lantern and Octagon surgeries are looking forward to a brighter future. Health officials have announced the surgeries, renamed the Cathedral Medical Practice, are to be taken

AFTER months of uncertainty and complaints about poor service, patients at Ely's Lantern and Octagon surgeries are looking forward to a brighter future.

Health officials have announced the surgeries, renamed the Cathedral Medical Practice, are to be taken over by a healthcare provider.

ChilversMcCrea Healthcare, which runs 30 NHS GP surgeries across the UK, has won the tender to run the practices and takes over this month.

The decision comes after Sutton GPs pulled out of managing the surgeries last year, leaving them under the control of the Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust.

Patients complained they couldn't get appointments and doctors were out of touch with their medical histories, causing problems when they went to the surgeries, which serve 7,500 people at the Princess of Wales Hospital.

Dozens of patients attended a heated protest meeting in Ely to demand action.

Frank Hume, acting director of commissioning at Cambridgeshire PCT said: "The PCT made a commitment to improve access to primary care in Ely following difficulties at the practice in 2007.

"We have been able to build and stabilise the team of doctors, nurses and administrative staff at the practice who have done a sterling job in keeping the service going. The focus now will be on meeting the needs of the growing local population, improving quality and developing innovative services."

The existing staff, including the newly recruited doctors, will transfer from the PCT to ChilversMcCrea Healthcare.

Neil Page, chairman of the Practice Patient Participation Group, said: "Members of the patient body have been involved in the tender process since early 2007. This has involved consultation to ascertain patient priorities which fed into the system for scoring returned tenders."

And Geoff Smith, vice chairman, added: "Five members of the PPG, along with members of the PCT, spent considerable time over several months reviewing the proposals received, culminating in the interviewing of the final four who were short listed. At all these meetings and presentations, the PPG played an active part in the questioning in order to ensure that our patients' needs would be met.

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