Jobs at risk as GP contracts are stripped across Wakefield

Key medical services could be moved out of Phoenix Healthcare Solutions at the White Rose Medical Centre on Exchange Street in South Elmsall.
Key medical services could be moved out of Phoenix Healthcare Solutions at the White Rose Medical Centre on Exchange Street in South Elmsall.

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 and Phoenix Healthcare Solutions, which is based in South Elmsall, in a move it said would improve standards of care.

Pinderfields Hospital general view

Pinderfields Hospital general view

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 Medical Centre in Hemsworth, 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.

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 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.

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.”