Practice in Chelmsford to be Taken Over by Virgin Care

A general practice whose funding was diminished following a recent contract review will be taken over by the private Virgin Care.

All of the partners at the Sutherland Lodge Surgery in Chelmsford, Essex have already opted to resign having been informed that funding for the practice will be reduced by 50% over the next two years.

NHS England has stated that the Virgin Care will take on the contract for the 12,000-strong patient practice from 1st July.

Meanwhile, the premises are “being purchased by a property investment company” acting as landlord, according to a statement from NHS England.

The practice is one of the largest surgeries in Chelmsford, and has been open to the public for over a century.

It will remain at the same site, but there will undoubtedly be criticism over this new private partnership deal.

Detractors of the Conservative party in particular have suggested that the shift to Virgin Care is indicative of the dearth of funding which GP surgeries are receiving from government.

NHS England said that although the change may be “unsettling” for some patients, Virgin Care possesses a “strong track record” of delivering GP services.

A spokesperson from the company acknowledged the deal, and welcome to the opportunity for Virgin Care to work with patients in the Chelmsford region.

“We are pleased to announce that Virgin Care Services has been identified as the preferred bidder to provide medical services for GP registered patients from the Sutherland Lodge Surgery from Friday 1 July 2016. We are aware that this change of provider may be unsettling for patients, some of whom have been with the practice for many years, and we are working with the existing practice staff to ensure there will be minimal disruption to patients’ medical services during the transition and they will continue to have access to the same services as they do currently.”

Partners of the surgery have acknowledged that there will be a significant period of instability while both workers and patients become accustomed to the new operation.

In a message to patients published on the practice website, the partners stated that the new practice will be quite different from the old surgery.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your kind thoughts and sterling support during these past six months. We had hoped to all be retiring from here as a natural process, but as you are aware this is not to be the case.”

 

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