Patients in Gosport will be asked to stay with their current GP practice over the winter while GPs are at their busiest.
All practices in Gosport offer patient online services, and eConsult. Therefore where patients are struggling to get an appointment; we would encourage the use of these other avenues. Practices are also offering a range of appointment times for routine (pre-booked) and same-day appointments, in the evenings and at weekends.
A temporary suspension is however being introduced for patients moving from one practice to another in Gosport to help GP practices stabilise after more than 2,100 patients in the town have transferred between practices which has affected a few of the practices with higher numbers of new registrations than usual.
It will remain in place until March 31, 2019. Practices will not be in a position to hold a waiting list of patients wishing to register, patients will be asked to continue their registration with their existing practice.
Patients are being encouraged to remain with their GP practice if they are living and registered already with a GP in the area. This will help to prevent a similar situation arising again in April.
Two of the eight Gosport practices have already had to temporarily close their lists because they are struggling to cope with the increase in numbers, which also has a further knock-on effect on the practices near to them.
Other practices have raised concerns with the CCG that their services could become unsafe if they have to take on more patients, at a time when the town is already facing major problems of GP recruitment and retention and during the busy winter months.
CCG spokesperson Dr Andrew Holden said: “We are not taking the decision lightly to support temporarily suspending a patient’s ability to move to another GP practice.
“But the current situation poses considerable risks. If more practices suspend patient registrations, then people moving into the area may not be able to find a doctor at all, which is unacceptable. We are also very mindful of practices’ concern that they could have a list size that is unsafe to manage.
“This temporary suspension will give the practices some time, in a planned and co-ordinated way, to catch up with the influx of patient registrations received to date.
“All Gosport practices are working closely together for the good of their patients, and trying to offer the best services they can, and ensuring that patients can see an appropriate health professional when they need to.
“We would ask patients to bear with us at this time and understand that, if they are considering moving practice, for whatever reason, that all of the practices are committed to providing the best services they can. The shift in patient numbers means that a practice which, a few months ago, could potentially offer a faster appointment than elsewhere may not still be able to do so.”
The CCG and local practices are committed to providing safe, high quality services to those living in Gosport and are asking for their help over the winter period to ensure everyone gets the right care at the right time. For further details on online services local people are encouraged to visit their practice’s website.