King’s Lynn surgery’s future uncertain as ‘requirements not met’
The future of a GP surgery in Lynn is unclear after officials admitted the premises is not “currently meeting requirements”.
A spokeswoman for Vida Healthcare, which runs Fairstead Surgery, said its future has not been decided, but said that it is in ongoing talks with the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
But residents on the estate have concerns that the surgery may close and leave them without healthcare provision.
The spokeswoman for Vida insisted that it is in discussions to consider the primary care options for Fairstead patients.
She said Fairstead Surgery was one of the first to be purpose-built several decades ago, which at the time would have been state-of-the-art.
As time has gone on, the premises has been “less able to adapt to the changing and more complex healthcare needs”.
She said: “Many years ago work commenced with the now NHS England in order to bid for support for new premises near the site. This was done in conjunction with patients of Fairstead Surgery.”
After several years of ongoing negotiations for a new surgery, she said Vida was unable to gain support from NHS England for a new surgery to be built either near or at the site.
“The future of the surgery has not been decided and the existing building is not currently meeting the requirements for a fully-fledged GP surgery going forward,” she added.
“We are now in ongoing discussion with the West Norfolk CCG as to what realistic options may be considered to provide primary care for the Fairstead patients.”
Andrea Patman, head of commissioning for NHS England East, confirmed it had received a business case from Fairstead Surgery for a new premises last year.
She said: “When a business case is received, NHS England must consider a number of factors, such as potential sites for any new premises, the services it might deliver and, how to ensure any building work carried out is affordable, good value for money and meets the needs of patients.”
She said any new premises would also need to be in accordance with local plans for new health facilities, as set out by West Norfolk CCG and the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.
“NHS England reviewed Fairstead Surgery’s business case against these criteria and provided feedback to the surgery on why the bid could not be supported in its current form. Fairstead Surgery has been asked to resubmit a revised business case, taking this feedback into account.
“NHS England will now work with West Norfolk CCG and Fairstead Surgery on potential solutions, to ensure patients in the area can access high quality primary care services now and in the future.”
There had been speculation that a member of staff would be retiring imminently which would trigger the surgery’s closure, but Vida has insisted this is not the case.
“I can confirm that, at this time, Vida Healthcare is not in receipt of any formal notices of retirement from any of our GP partners,” the spokeswoman added.