If you are living in Eddington, you are probably wondering why the Health Centre is not yet open.
A few of us have got together to do some research to try to find out. In this blog post, we will explain what we found.
To introduce ourselves first - we are a group of volunteers from the Huntingdon Road Surgery Patient Participation Group, and the Eddington Resident's Association.
So here's what we found:
We talked to staff at Huntingdon Road Surgery, the estate management office at Eddington, and Cambridge and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CPCCG). It turns out that the people who have the authority to open the Health Centre are at the CPCCG.
CPCCG are a local body serving the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. They receive money from the government to pay for the local NHS health services. They are then responsible for distributing that money around the local area so that every community has a fair amount of healthcare for their population.
The decision to open the health centre will be made by their Primary Care Commissioning Committee. The CPCCG last discussed the Eddington Health Centre publically in 2018. The minutes of the meeting are available online.
Since that meeting, some developments have taken place. The main one is that a lot of the houses in Eddington have been built and are now occupied. The health centre has also been built. There are now thought to be more than two thousand residents in Eddington.
Currently, the population of Eddington is looked after by the existing GP surgeries in the local area.
Working together, the Huntingdon Road Surgery Patient Participation Group and Eddington Resident's Association recently carried out an online survey of the Eddington population. We found out that, of the residents who are registered with a GP, the majority were registered with Huntingdon Road Surgery. The breakdown of numbers was as follows:
Of 33 residents who stated which GP they were registered with:
|Lensfield Medical Practice||1|
|Huntingdon Road Surgery||28|
|Bridge Street Surgery||0|
Of 109 total respondents, 4% were not registered with a GP at all.
In our survey, 98% of respondents said that they would like to see the Eddington Health Centre open and working.
We approached the CPCCG via their Patient Participation Group meeting to ask when the Eddington Health Centre will be brought into use. They explained quite a lot of detail about how the system works. Here is what they said:
One of the things that the CPCCG do is to look at the size of the population in each area in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. They work out how many houses and people there are, to make sure that we have enough Primary Care (Doctor's) Practices and GPs to look after us all.
This is quite a complicated process at the moment, as there are lots of new housing estates springing up all over the place. The houses are being built and occupied at different rates in different areas. The CPCCG are having to keep a close eye on all the different areas.
They also have to look at the existing GP surgeries in the areas, and see how close they are to their maximum capacity, as this is a major indicator of when new capacity will be needed. (It is important to note that this is entirely about how many patients they have on their lists, and nothing to do with how many appointments the patients book, or would like to book.)
Currently, the CPCCG judge that there may not be enough houses in Eddington, and people living in those houses, to justify the cost of opening the surgery. They are now contacting local GP surgeries to find out how close they are to their maximum capacity.
Currently, the CPCCG said that they are talking to the staff at Huntingdon Road Surgery. (This makes sense in the context of our survey, which showed that the surgery has the vast majority of Eddington patients on their books).
The CPCCG staff said (or at least strongly implied) that it is the patient list numbers at Huntingdon Road Surgery that will trigger the opening of the Eddington Health Centre. Once Huntingdon Road Surgery is approaching the point where they need more staff and more space to care for the Eddington population, it will trigger the CPCCG to open the new health centre.
We asked how many patients and houses would be needed to trigger the opening of the health centre. At that point the discussion got complicated, and we haven't managed to figure that stuff out yet, but we will keep trying.
Comments from CPCCG
We sent this blog post to the CPCCG for their comments and here is what they said:
"Thank you again for sharing your blog post with us.
It looks accurate to us, one thing to note is that the CCG would always recommend/encourage that everyone (including new populations of housing developments) register as soon as possible with their local GP - which ties in with what is said in your blog."
So what is the take-home message from this?
We talked to the Cambridge and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CPCCG) people to ask what Eddington Residents can do to encourage them to open the Eddington Health Centre soon.
Currently, most Eddington patients are cared for by Huntingdon Road Surgery. It seems that the new health centre will open when Huntingdon Road Surgery is judged to be approaching maximum capacity.
As we understand it, the best thing that Eddington residents can do to make that happen sooner is to register as a patient with Huntingdon Road Surgery.
(The measurement of capacity is entirely about how many patients they have on their list and not about how many appointments we request, so attempting to book a larger number of appointments will not help.)
Registering as a patient with the surgery enables the CPCCG to see that those residents are there, and it triggers the CPCCG to set up extra capacity in the system to care for them. This extra capacity will come in the form of the new Eddington Health Centre being brought into use.
It is important that we register with a GP surgery when we arrive in a new neighbourhood, even if we do not currently need medical care. This allows the system to be set up correctly, so that help will be available in the future if/when we do need it.
If you are already registered, then it would be great if you could pass this message on to your neighbours. You could also help any new residents to register, especially if they are new in the country, and unfamiliar with NHS services.
You can register with Huntingdon Road Surgery online via their registration page.
For those who are new to the UK or the NHS, you can find more information about the system works by visiting the University's HR pages on healthcare. If you have further questions about NHS services, please direct them to the University's HR contact email address.
We are keen to know what you think about this. If you have a moment, please fill in our survey.
This page was written by volunteers.
If this subject is really important to you, please don't take our word for it, but do your own research. I think the place to ask is probably the Cambridge and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group Primary Care Commissioning Committee. They have all their meetings in public and I think would be really happy to hear from anyone who is interested in the process.
If you have information about what is happening at the Eddington Health Centre, that you would like to contribute, or if you know that there is an error on this page, then please do get in touch.
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