'Substantial' redundancies expected at healthcare firms after CCG deals end

Patients in Hemsworth and South Elmsall are likely to have to travel further for certain types of treatment.
Patients in Hemsworth and South Elmsall are likely to have to travel further for certain types of treatment.

Jobs will be lost and patients will face longer waits for treatment because of changes to care by health bosses in Wakefield, a GP with over 50 years' experience has claimed.

Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has not renewed its contracts with The Grange Medical Centre in Hemsworth and Phoenix Healthcare Solutions, which is based in South Elmsall, in a move it said would improve standards of care.

The Grange Medical Centre in Hemsworth

The Grange Medical Centre in Hemsworth

Hand surgery, gynaecology and endoscopies are among the services they will no longer be allowed to provide. Patients will instead be sent to Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals for treatment.

Dr Lutfe Kamal, who is a partner at The Grange said that the decision to strip his practice of a number of patient services, and give them to local hospitals was "very bad news" for the NHS.

Phoenix will file a complaint with NHS England about the decision, which it said will "devastate" its business and Dr Kamal said job losses were likely to occur at The Grange too.

Both claimed the decision was financially motivated and taken to cut costs for the CCG.

Jobs are expected to be lost here, and at other health providers.

Jobs are expected to be lost here, and at other health providers.

Dr Kamal said: "Since 1991 both Labour and Conservative governments have advocated care in the community and local care for local people.

"In just a few months everything we've been working towards in all that time has been destroyed.

"We will not be able to continue running primary care here without making substantial redundancies.

"Local people get a wonderful service here (at The Grange) and now all this expertise will be lost in the community. No action will bring them back because they will move onto new pastures."

The CCG has said that some providers weren't offering patients a full course of treatment, and cited this as a reason to end the contracts.

But Phoenix said that this was because the CCG prevented them from doing so.

The company's manager, Karen Whitfield, claimed that local hospitals would struggle to cope with the numbers of patients being passed onto them.

She said: "The CCG has every right to set out the criteria they want from providers but they need to be fair and consistent.

"Pinderfields won't be able to deal with the number of people that we've passed onto them because they're stretched as it is.

"There's some things they won't be able to do, and people will end up being sent onto places like Leeds and Sheffield."

In response to that, the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said: "Any commissioning decisions are for the CCG to make, and we fully respect those decisions.

"With regard to our performance, we strive to provide assessments and treatment within the NHS Constitutional Standards in terms of the 18-week referral to treatment target, and during the last year the performance of the Trust has improved significantly to 88 per cent, which is above the national average.”

A spokesperson for the CCG said: "It is important to note contracts with providers have not been decommissioned. The contracts have ended.

"Existing providers had been asked not to accept new referrals after a set date as part of an extensive exit strategy where the CCG has worked with them to ensure that existing patients receive their complete treatment.

"This is a priority to us all."