We welcome the decision to review treatment of vulnerable patients by CCG

Folkestone & Hythe CLP welcomes the decision by South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group to appoint an ‘independent’ clinical advisor to review the CCG’s treatment of vulnerable patients of the former Folkestone East Family Practice.

Labour has seen the CCG’s letter to David Horton dated 21 December 2017 in which the review was announced.

Laura Davison, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Folkestone and Hythe in the 2017 General Election, said:

“Labour has been calling for an investigation into the closure of FEFP since the community conference we organised on 4 November 2017, which the CCG and Damian Collins MP did not even attend.

While the CCG is to be commended for now asking NHS England to investigate its treatment of vulnerable former FEFP patients, as we have called for, it is unfortunate that this is only happening after FEFP has closed, rather than beforehand; and only after a threat of legal action by a former patient, acting in the public interest.

It is even more unfortunate that, three months on from FEFP’s closure, the CCG still has not confirmed to the public how many of the 1,777 FEFP patients cut from its list of vulnerable people remain unallocated and unregistered with a new GP surgery. What have they got to hide?

An equality audit and a proper assessment of the impact of the closure on disabled and vulnerable people is a basic legal requirement, but the CCG appears not to have done this before the surgery closed, which caused a tidal wave of chaos across Folkestone’s GP surgeries, and continues to do so.

There are also serious questions over the role played by Damian Collins MP in the CCG’s decision to cut FEFP’s vulnerable list. Mr Collins is likely to have been aware of the CCG’s unilateral decision. Did he speak up for the 1,777 vulnerable constituents whose own doctors had said they were too vulnerable to complete the re-registration process on their own? Does he even know how many of those 1,777 vulnerable constituents remain unallocated and unregistered with a new GP? What has he done to help them?

I hope that the NHS investigation gets to the bottom of these important issues, particularly in view of the current uncertainty over the future of Church Lane Surgery in Romney Marsh. Labour will be contributing to the review and expects that its representations will be taken seriously.

Labour will continue fighting for the interests of all of the patients in the constituency.”

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