A 12-month intensive action plan is to be put in place in the New Year by NHS England to help manage a troubled GP surgery in Leighton Buzzard.
Two weeks ago, the LBO broke the story about upcoming redundancies at Leighton Road Surgery in the town – which serves 22,000 patients at two sites in Leighton Road and Grovebury Road following a merger last year.
News of the redundancies came as a blow to the surgery’s stakeholders and patients who had been assured as recently as November that more clinical staff would be hired.
South West Beds MP Andrew Selous told the LBO: “I’ve been pressing NHS England to alert them to my concerns on this issue for some time now.
“I’m pleased to say that NHS England have confirmed that they and Bedfordshire CCG are to provide intensive support to the practice and this will last for one year.
“They will have a plan drawn up establishing what the surgery needs to do, starting on January 3.
“I think this is a very welcome step. From time to time, all organisations need a bit of support and help, and there is no reason the surgery can’t get back to providing the type of service patients want.
“It’s a recognition by NHS England that there is an issue. Obviously I await further detail, but I’m pleased to see this initiative being taken.”
In the LBO’s story earlier this month, a frustrated staff member at Leighton Road Surgery blew the whistle on high workloads and low morale, only made worse by the news of upcoming redundancies.
Senior partners reportedly took annual leave in the day following the announcement, prohibiting staff from asking questions.
Mr Selous added: “It directly contradicts the letter I received from NHS England on November 7 about the recruitment of additional staff.
“We now have to see this new plan and track its implementation, making sure it does exactly what it sets out to do.”