This is the Response of South Tyneside Health Branch of Unison to the formal Consultation on South of Tyne & Wear GP Practice Proposals. August 4th 2008
Re- The contracts being tendered for are GP practices in South Shields (Flagg Court) and Hebburn. Also a Health Centre at Cleadon, which will be a walk in and walk out facility.
The national guidelines on this Darzi plan say “that it must be additional capacity – This means additional GPs, nurses and support staff”. But staff at Riverside GP practice presently based at Flagg Court, an existing PCT directly managed practice for 2,600 patients have already been told that they could be transferred into the independent sector as part of a new 6,000 patient practice. So, immediately existing practice staff are being made available to the future contractor contrary to these guidelines and before consultation begins.
Therefore this proposal should be rejected.
We demand that the staff in the Riverside Practice retain their directly managed status with South Tyneside PCT.
That all of their terms and conditions and their pensions remain with the PCT.
1- Are these the right areas?
No. We have serious doubts about these areas. The existence of your accident and emergency Unit in South Shields and Minor Injuries unit in South Shields and Jarrow seem to be the place to start in any claim to improve walk in walk out services. These units are directly in the community and more accessible than what you propose.
2- What should be the selection criteria for the bidders?
The criteria should allow only NHS Trusts, Primary Care Trust providers and individual GPs as a group practice. All private companies made up of GPs, or public (stock exchange) companies should not be allowed to bid. No foreign companies should be allowed to bid.
We would like to remind the commissioners that the health service belongs to us and not to any private individual, or company and shareholder. Whilst we work in partnership with GPs and other small business people we have first claim on the health service as health workers, as patients, as people do as our workplaces, our NHS and our health services. We do not agree that any company should have a claim on the NHS and its resources. Their claims already jeopardise the standard of care through the Drug Cartels and other multinational companies that supply the NHS.
August 4th 2008