Felixstowe is well supplied with GP surgeries at the moment – but that could all change with new proposals for at least three practices to work more closely together, and the news that one of the towns longest serving GP’s is to take a step back from managing his practice in the future.
Dr McKee has been at the helm of Walton Surgery for 24 years – ever since it split from Howard House in the town. But as he contemplates winding down to retirement he has announced that from October Walton Surgery will be managed by a private organisation called Suffolk GP Federation.
In a letter to patients Dr McKee has stressed that for the time being it will be business as usual – and he and Dr Fleming – the other main GP in the practice – plus the practice nurses – will continue to provide the usual care.
However – there is also the suggestion that in the future Walton Surgery, Haven Health and Howard House will work more closely together making the ‘best use of resources and future proof services for patients’.
That usually means sooner or later services will be reduced and we as patients will have less choice about which practice we attend or doctor we see.
It remains to be seen of course – but the best case scenario is the likelihood in the future that at least one of these practices will close – and patients will be forced to choose a new surgery and a new doctor.
Suffolk GP Federation is a not-for-profit organisation that represents and is owned by 61 independent GP practices covering 540,000 patients.
- It employs 150 healthcare and support staff and already runs a number of NHS services in Suffolk and bordering counties, including Suffolk GP+ (which provides additional evening and weekend GP appointments In Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds) and a community based ultrasound service.
- Members remain independent GP practices while collaborating in the further development of local primary care.
- As well as the delivery of high quality local NHS services, Suffolk GP Federation supports the career development of local GPs with training and mentoring opportunities.
- For more information visit http://www.suffolkfed.org.uk.