Proposed closure of Longhoughton Surgery and relocation of the dispensary

LONGHOUGHTON GP AND DISPENSING SERVICES

As you are aware, our clinical services have had to reduce over the past fifteen months due to COVID-19 and our GP services at Longhoughton have been delivered by the Alnwick Medical Group team at our other sites. We are now facing further challenges with Longhoughton surgery and as a result are planning the permanent closure of the branch and relocation of the dispensary.

We realise you may have some concerns about the closure of the branch surgery and relocation of the dispensary, so are now entering of period of engagement for 12 weeks, designed to give every local person the opportunity to share their views.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we want to close?

The surgery is currently operating out of two residential properties joined together with clinical rooms on both ground and first floors. These are small residential properties, with a narrow entrance, hallway and stairs, and therefore does not provide disabled access.

The current premises and dispensary are becoming increasingly unfit for purpose and it is vital that we are able to provide a clinical service from treatment rooms that comply with the best Health and Safety and Infection Control regulations. Currently, the premises do not meet the basic standards required by our regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for a GP Practice to operate safely.

The premises are rented from the RAF and the rental agreement does not allow us to make any changes to the property to make it more suitable to deliver primary healthcare.

The health and safety of our staff and patients is paramount, and for this reason, the team at AMG propose to close the site in Longhoughton permanently and consolidate their overall service. All services would be fulfilled at either the sites in Alnwick or Embleton and the practice will continue to dispense to Longhoughton patients through the delivery service set up during the pandemic.

Are you looking at alternative premises in Longhoughton?
As we are unable to modify or improve the surgery, we have attempted several times to relocate over the last decade, but no alternative premises were successfully identified.

When will the surgery close and the dispensary move?
We have already relocated our dispensing team. There will be NO break in the dispensing service. We are following the correct procedure and must apply for permission to permanently relocate. Once we have completed our patient engagement, we will submit our application to the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS England for their approval.

Will I still get the same service at Alnwick or Embleton?
Yes, there will be no changes to our services provided, but we will have more and better space. By relocating our GP and dispensary services to our Alnwick site, patients will not only have improved accessibility, particularly for the elderly and disabled and those with young children using pushchairs, but will also receive care in an environment fit for purpose.

How will my prescription be dispensed?
The practice will continue to dispense to Longhoughton patients through the delivery service set up during the pandemic.

Will you accommodate patients travelling from Longhoughton?
We have a contract for reduced fare travel with NEED in Alnwick, please contact them directly to book transport

What about my repeat prescriptions?
There will not be any changes. You can order your prescriptions online in the first instance and by telephone to 01665 510666.

What will the dispensary opening hours be?
Our dispensing team work from 0900-1730 each day.

Will the surgery phone number still be the same?
The old Longhoughton number will be in use for some months yet and will divert to the relevant team. When it ceases patients will be redirected to the new number

What is the telephone number to order prescriptions?
Patients can use the number they have already or 01665 510666

What if I need an emergency supply of my medication?
You should call us on 01665 510666 to discuss with the team.

Where can I get more information?
We are holding virtual feedback sessions where you can let us know your thoughts. Please email NORCCG.AMGLonghoughtonclosure@nhs.net if you wish to attend a session, with the email title ZOOM SESSION, stating your name and the session you wish to attend, and an invitation will be sent to you.

Session 1 – Thursday 3rd February 2022 – 3pm
Session 2 – Tuesday 8th February 2022 – 5pm

If you have any comments about the proposed closure, please email NORCCG.AMGLonghoughtonclosure@nhs.net or write to:

Tony Brown, Longhoughton Closure, Alnwick Medical Group, Alnwick, Northumberland,
NE66 2NL

Or

Drop a letter into 4-6 Portal Place and we will arrange a collection from the premises.