Statement regarding Withnell Health Centre

Date posted: 27th January 2023

Due to the contract at Withnell Health Centre being an interim arrangement, the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria had a duty to undertake an open, procurement process for this service which allows for all interested providers to be fairly considered. This is part of our legal responsibility as an ICB in accordance with NHS and public procurement regulations.

The ICB was obliged to run a full procurement process for a new contract after Dr Siddiqui informed the CCG that he had dissolved this partnership, resulting in the termination of the existing contract with immediate effect. In the meantime, to ensure continuity of services for patients, on 9 December 2021, Chorley and South Ribble CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee made the decision to award a temporary contract to Dr Ann Robinson.

The ICB has received a large number of letters, concerns and comments from staff, patients and residents and we would like to assure the public that these are being actively processed. We are taking all concerns raised seriously.

As with all procurement exercises, engagement with the public was part of the process. In regard to Withnell Health Centre, all patients were sent a letter informing them that a temporary contract had been awarded and that there would be a process undertaken to identify a long-term provider. They were also invited to submit their views via a patient survey and there was an approximate 11% response rate, however, we’d like to acknowledge that more could have been done to keep patients informed.

Further engagement could have made patients and staff more aware of the procurement process and that it could result in a different organisation taking over the running of the GP practice and due to this, we’d like to apologise.

We are currently reviewing all the information from the procurement process and at this point have not entered into a contract with a new provider.

Going forward we’re committed to going above and beyond with our public engagement and would like to reassure our local population that securing high-quality services remains a priority for the ICB.

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