Staff sickened by redundancies letter at Leighton Road Surgery

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Staff are facing redundancy at a Leighton Buzzard GPs surgery caring for more than 22,000 people.

It has emerged that both medical and administration workers at Leighton Road Surgery’s two sites received a letter informing them of upcoming redundancies due to financial woes.

The medical centre merged with Grovebury Road Surgery last year in order to combine resources. One affected worker, who received the letter on Wednesday, November 28, said: “Clinical staff have been given notices of redundancy as well as admin staff.

“It’s understaffed enough as it is. Some staff are already intending to leave and those who have gone have not been replaced. There’s going to be fewer minor illness patients being seen.

“All they are saying about these redundancies is that it’s due to financial issues. The senior partners took annual leave the day after the letter was sent.

“Things are absolutely at an all-time low. People are sick of it and looking for other jobs.”

In response to the LBO’s enquiries, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group stated: “Leighton Road Surgery is conducting a business review on its services and the way they are delivered from the practice and as part of this is undertaking a team restructure.

“Whilst the consultation is ongoing and we are in discussion with staff it would not be appropriate to comment further on any potential redundancies. Patients remain our priority and patient safety will not be compromised by the restructure.”

In September, the LBO reported that the surgery had U-turned over its controversial new appointment system and reverted back to its old method, issuing an apology to patients.

Residents had previously been told that in order to get an appointment, they had to first book a telephone consultation with a doctor, who would assess whether they needed to come in for a face-to-face discussion.

Patients then complained to the LBO, alleging that the new triage system had made things even worse, claiming that the phone lines were “gridlocked”, that callers got cut off whilst on hold.

Despite this, Bedfordshire CCG later clarified that phonecalls with doctors were still being used for patients wishing to book an appointment on the same day.