Save Greyfriars Campaign

With the imminent closure of Greyfriar’s Health Centre on September 30th 2016 the Great Yarmouth & Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group has failed to address any of the concerns about the proposed replacement services after what amounted to little more than a public relations exercise by way of a ‘consultation’. The Save Greyfriars campaign has collected 2,744 signatures on our petition calling on the CCG to reconsider the closure.

This Thursday ahead of the meeting of the Great Yarmouth & Waveney CCG’s governing body Tony Crone will present our joint petition to Andy Evans their Chief Executive at 12pm outside Beccles House. We are proud to have been part of this grassroots campaign also supported by Unite, Unite community, the GMB, the People's Assembly, Waveney Trades council among other groups and to have received such stellar support from residents, over 2,700 of whom back this campaign.

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A recent report by the CQC into IC24 the provider of the NHS 111 service to Norwich & Wisbech who also provide NHS 111 services to Great Yarmouth & Waveney reported chilling findings such as;

  • Inadequate training of staff that triage patients.
  • Failure to prioritise investigations into shocking delays relating to patient care.
  • Failing to ensure medicine held at primary care centres is within the manufacturer’s expiry date.
  • Inability to properly carry out their safeguarding duties with regards to recruitment of staff and failure to undertake Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for staff.
  • Failure to provide properly trained staff at primary care centres.

Janet Williamson, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice and Dentistry in CQC’s Central region stated:

“Our inspectors found that systems and processes to help prevent patients being put at risk of harm were not always in place.”

“There were delays in patients accessing the 111 and the GP out-of-hours service, the systems to show that staff had been appropriately trained and security checked were ineffective and we found some medicines were out of date. We have told the service to take action to address these and other issues.”

The fact that Great Yarmouth & Waveney CCG rate the service has good is the cause for upmost concern into whether the governors of the CCG and Andy Evans are capable of providing good governance for the people of Great Yarmouth if their own assessment is so wildly at odds with that of the regulator the Care Quality Commission.

The replacement services announced today by Great Yarmouth & Waveney CCG set out a scheme of ‘twice a day’ cover only at weekends and bank holidays from October 1st. This is a considerable reduction from the 7 day service the government and Health Minister Jeremy Hunt has promised and from the 12 hour a day cover that currently exists for the people of Great Yarmouth.

The CCG has also failed to address how people on lower incomes who live within the area served by Greyfriar’s Health Centre or those visiting our town during the holiday season would be able to access out of hours cover at the James Paget University Hospital without considerable expense of a Taxi or long bus journey.

Trevor Wainwright (Councillor for Magdalen ward and Leader of the Labour Group on Great Yarmouth Borough Council) says;

 “The Labour Party feels that the people of Great Yarmouth are being made scapegoats for the serious underfunding of the NHS by this government where GP services have now been twice cut back in the borough and local people are frustrated at the long waits to get appointments and loss of valued services for local residents.

 The poor quality of ‘enhanced’ services proposed as replacements to existing good healthcare providers is of serious concerns to Labour councillors on GYBC who will work tirelessly to hold Great Yarmouth & Waveney CCG to account for any failings in their duty of care to the people of this borough.”

 26th July 2016 

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