GPs given contract for walk-in centre

Posted on April 30, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

Sunderland Echo | By Julie Wilson | Sunderland tPCT | 10 February 2009

Doctors who took over their own GP practice have been awarded the contract to run Wearside’s new walk-in centre.

Patients at Encompass Healthcare fought for two years to keep family doctors Ashley Liston and Tracey Lucas, amid fears that they could be forced out after the contract to run the surgery was put out to tender.

They were delighted when the GPs were chosen to run the practice at Washington’s Galleries Health Centre.

Now Encompass has won the contract for the new Washington Primary Care Centre, which will be open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm.

It will provide a doctors’ surgery alongside a range of other mixed healthcare services, including a minor injuries walk-in centre.

Dr Liston, of Encompass Healthcare, said: “We are very happy and very enthusiastic about it. We are very committed to developing services for our patients.

“It’s going to be a huge asset for the local community.”

The walk-in service at the new Washington Primary Care Centre, in the town centre, will start from May 1, with additional GP services at Washington Galleries Health Centre from April 1.

Jan Forster, director of primary care commissioning for NHS South of Tyne and Wear, said: “We would again like to reassure patients that this is not about replacing current GP providers, but offering greater choice should patients wish to take up this opportunity.”

Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust has also announced that two new GP practices in Riverview Health Centre in Hendon and Pennywell Health Centre will be run by Peterlee-based Intrahealth from April 1.

The GP surgeries in Pennywell and Hendon will be open to new patients and will have a wider range of services and longer opening hours – 8am to 6.30pm and Saturday mornings – with a possibility that opening times will be extended even further.

Greg Moorhouse, managing director of Intrahealth, said: “We are extremely pleased and honoured to be given this opportunity. It’s something we are looking forward to.

“I’m a Sunderland resident and it’s a chance to make a difference in our own community.”

Mr Moorhouse, a pharmacist, said the shareholders of Intrahealth were from an NHS background. 

No suitable application was received to run a new doctors’ practice in the Coalfields area, so the trust is reconsidering its options.


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