Views sought by Peterborough PCT over future of GPs

Some doctors' surgeries in Peterborough could be closed or merged with others under plans by the local primary care trust (PCT) to save money.

NHS Peterborough has a projected overspend of £33m and is holding a series of public meetings to gauge views on three options.

One is to do nothing and the other two propose improving some GP practices and closing and merging others.

The PCT said if it did nothing it would have save £6m from other services.

'Growing demands'

Patients at GP practices such as Dogsthorpe, Parnwell and Welland as well as the Alma Road Primary Care Centre and Burghley Road Surgery could be affected.

Chief executive of NHS Peterborough Sushil Jathanna said: "Since December 2010, we have been seeking views from GPs, nurses, councillors, MPs, patient groups and more about how we can best ensure local primary care and urgent care service are able to meet growing demands, and can adapt to changing needs in the future.

"We've listened to all of the views and feedback and incorporated them into a vision for how we can improve local primary care services and urgent care services for the future, and we have a strategy for what needs to happen to reach that vision."

'Challenges we face'

Lead GP commissioner for NHS Peterborough, Dr Michael Caskey, said: "Ensuring that patients in Peterborough have access to high quality, safe and effective health care is our main focus as doctors and clinicians, but with growing demand and increasingly limited budgets, this is becoming much more challenging.

"This consultation paints a very real picture of the challenges we face providing primary and urgent care but also the opportunities that we have to make improvements to services for patients.

"It is hoped the vision will help patients access the right care at the right time, streamlining routes into the services and improving access."

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