Circuit Lane GP surgery to be part of Western Elms GP Practice

According to Healthwatch Reading the troubled Circuit Lane surgery (part of the North and West Reading Clinical Commissioning locality), which has been in special measures for some time and has been the subject of much dissatisfaction is to be taken over by the well regarded Western Elms practice.

The Circuit Lane surgery has been run by the Leeds-based One Medical Group, who won a tender organised by NHS England, for provision of the services after the former GP partnership was unable to continue. One Medical Group, having won the tender, then required additional funds to provide the service, but were unable to satisfy patients or the Care Quality Commission.

There is no doubt that the expense of accommodation in the Reading area and the failure of government to resolve the shortages of qualified GPs make it difficult to staff GP practices here. Excessive resort to casual locum GPs can be the result, with the practice becoming both financially unsustainable and unsatisfactory for patients.

Since taking over management of GP services and other primary care from NHS England the federated CCGs of Berkshire West (now merged) have preferred a supportive and collaborative approach to improving and sustaining GP services to a resort to competitive tender, wherever possible, and this has resulted in amalgamations, building improvements, introduction of new GP partners and a few closures in our own locality. The Care Quality Commission ratings of the services giving rise to concern have shown improvement with this approach. Now we see a further step along this way with the Circuit Lane surgery to be part of the Western Elms practice. Let us hope for a successful outcome.

No decision has yet been made about the provision of services at Priory Avenue surgery, also currently in the hands of One Medical Group, which is also in special measures according to the Care Quality Commission.