Robert Buckland MP has contacted Swindon CCG to seek urgent reassurances on behalf of concerned residents following the news that IMH has withdrawn from Swindon.
Robert wants to ensure that all surgeries concerned receive the necessary support in the weeks ahead and has told Swindon CCG that the service to residents must be improved quickly.
Swindon CCG have released the following statement.
STATEMENT FROM SWINDON NHS CCG
Following lengthy discussions, and in light of ongoing challenges, Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group can confirm that Integral Medical Holdings (IMH) will withdraw from its operations in Swindon.
Since September 2018, the IMH Group had been working in partnership with five GP practices – Moredon Medical Centre, Abbey Meads Medical Centre, Phoenix Surgery, Eldene Surgery and Taw Hill Medical Practice – to provide a range of consolidated back-office services, such as administration, recruitment and IT services.
During this time, patients have continually raised concerns at the difficulties faced when attempting to contact their surgery and book appointments using the newly-introduced single contact centre, often referred to as the Hub.
Many of these issues have been linked to technical faults with the hardware system and, although engineers are currently working to address the problem, the CCG fully acknowledges that many patients are still experiencing issues.
Earlier this month, the CCG issued IMH with a remedial notice, which requires a provider to take immediate action when there is sufficient reason to believe a contract has been breached.
However, following a meeting of the CCG, IMH and senior clinical staff, and due to the ongoing technical issues, IMH has agreed to end its contract with the five practices.
The CCG will now begin exploring and identifying with each of the practices the most appropriate solution going forward.
IMH has agreed to continue working in Swindon, with oversight from the CCG, while this process is carried out, meaning patients should continue to contact their surgery in the usual way and attend all pre-booked appointments as normal.
Further updates will be shared with patients as soon as any key decisions are made.
The CCG fully acknowledges that the past nine months have been a difficult time for patients and we would like to thank the people of Swindon for their continued patience and understanding.
Robert Buckland MP commented:
“I have been working closely with North Swindon MP, Justin Tomlinson since IMH first became involved with the running of a number of surgeries in Swindon and I have shared my constituents' concerns. I have raised many issues with the CCG, and am glad that the following announcement has been made. It is right that IMH are withdrawing.
“I have spoken to Swindon CCG about their plans for the two surgeries in South Swindon that are involved, and I will continue to work with Justin Tomlinson MP, the surgeries and the CCG to ensure that residents receive the best possible support as this phased withdrawal takes place.”