Wrong letters sent in Hastings surgery shake-up

The Plaza Surgery. SUS-150408-094513001
The Plaza Surgery. SUS-150408-094513001

Last week, NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) stepped in after the doctor who ran Cornwallis Plaza surgery resigned.

The surgery currently runs GP services from four sites, namely Cornwallis Plaza Surgery, Shankill Surgery, Little Ridge Surgery and Essenden Road Surgery, with around 17,000 patients registered at the practice.

Letters were then sent to all Cornwallis Plaza practice patients living inside the practice boundary to advise them of changes and the practice to which they were allocated.

However, some patients contacted the Observer to say they had received a letter telling them they were out of the practice boundary and would need to find a new GP.

Phillip Ripley said: “We received a letter on Friday (October 27), saying we were out of range and therefore had no doctor. We rang the surgery and were told a lot of letters like this were sent out, which will have left many people panicking.”

On the Observer’s Facebook page, Laura Anne Panter said: “I received a letter telling me I’m out of the boundary area and that I need to find a new doctor so after much panic and three phone calls I get told ‘sorry, wrong letter’. How are we meant to know who to go to if the so-called experts haven’t got a clue?”

Mandy Eldridge said: “Myself, my daughter and my son all got a letter saying we have to find a new surgery. I have been at the same surgery all my life, 54 years.”

Beaconsfield Road Surgery will be taking over the running of Little Ridge Surgery, High Glades Medical Centre will be taking over the running of Essenden Road Surgery when it re-opens and The Station Practice is taking over the running of Cornwallis Plaza Surgery, which is based in the same building.

But the CCG said Harold Road Surgery will not be taking over the running of the Shankill Road branch as originally planned.

This means that the majority of the patients who had been re-allocated to Harold Road Surgery will now be allocated to either Beaconsfield Road Surgery or The Station Practice.

A spokeswoman for NHS Hastings and Rother CCG said: “Unfortunately, some patients who have been allocated to the High Glades Medical Centre received the wrong letter.

“NHS Hastings and Rother CCG apologises unreservedly to all those affected. As soon as the mistake was discovered arrangements were made to have the correct letters re-sent to this group of patients and they should receive these soon. Our designated helpline received some calls regarding this issue and CCG staff members were able to give the correct information to callers. The helpline remains open.

“Every effort is being made to try and ensure members of staff are redeployed wherever possible, and to mitigate and minimise the impact of these changes on patients and staff alike.

“NHS Hastings and Rother CCG is sorry that unforeseen circumstances at Harold Road surgery have meant that we have had to take this action and we are writing to all affected patients.

“We are extremely sorry that this situation has arisen and we have taken swift action to make sure that patients have continued access to improved health and care services. We apologise unreservedly for any inconvenience, anxiety or confusion caused but we are committed to ensuring that all patients previously registered with Cornwallis Plaza have continued access to safe, high quality care.”

Anyone with questions can ring 01424 735666 or email Cornwallisplazaenquiries@nhs.net.

Lines and emails will be monitored between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

There is also an option to leave a message outside of these times.