Future of the Glenridding Health Centre: Cumbria Healthcare On Call (CHOC) contract

Article posted: 29-Mar-2016
Future of the Glenridding Health Centre: Cumbria Healthcare On Call (CHOC) contract

Present Arrangement with CHOC to Continue to June 2016

Message from Neil Sullivan posted 29th March 2015

As some of you will be aware Michael Toulmin and I have been helping the Patients’ Participation Group since the spring of last year in discussions with NHS England on the future of the Health Centre.  We have been working in conjunction with Rob Shepherd on behalf of the Patterdale Parish Council.

At a recent meeting between the Patients’ Group and NHS England we were promised written confirmation by NHS England that the present interim arrangements with CHOC for the provision of services at the Health Centre will continue until long term arrangements are put in place.

The following is the text of a letter which we have received from Dr Melrose the Medical director for Cumbria and the North East confirming the position.
‘I am more than happy to confirm that we will be extending the arrangement with CHOC beyond April whilst we resolve the long term solution to provision in Glenridding. We agreed to extend to June at the meeting and hope that we will be in a position to proceed at that point.’

Please speak to a member of the Patients Group if there are any questions or points that you would like us to raise with NHS England in our further discussions with them.  Whoever you speak to will relay your questions or points to Michael and myself.

The current members of the Patients Group are Margaret Boothroyd, Julie Bell, David Brown, Robyn Lee-Brown, Jonathan Holdsworth, Ken McDonald, Andrea Hegedus, Stephen Gorton, Veronica Gore and Judith Sullivan. The Group is led by Lynn Iredale.  Veronica McGloin has also been assisting the Group during the period of the recent discussions.  The Group’s meetings are attended by Dr Lucy Dickinson and Dr Neil Margerison.

For the CHOC web site please visit CHOC.


Due to the flooding in the village the meeting scheduled for 8th December was cancelled


Latest situation regarding the future of the Health Centre 

Posted 25th November 2015

As you know the Glenridding Health Centre is currently being managed on an interim basis by CHOC (Cumbria Health on Call). This arrangement was put in place following the retirement of Dr Smith in October and runs until next April.

NHS England are currently looking for a long term solution for service provision and are in discussions with the Patient Participation Group and the Glenridding Surgery about potential options for the future. They are keen to engage the wider public at this early stage to ensure that whatever solution is put in place meets needs of the Dale in the most practical way possible, given the obvious constraints in place.

Therefore we are delighted that Dr Melrose and Christine Keen have once again agreed to attend an Open Parish Meeting on Tuesday 8th December at 19:00 in the Glenridding Public Hall to listen to people's views and to discuss some possible models for the future of the Health Centre. We all agree that this is a vital asset for the community, both for us as residents and for our visitors. However many also accept that it is simply not viable to continue with the current level of service provision.

Therefore please come along with an open mind and some good suggestions as to what you think would be a practical solution for the future.

If you have any questions or thoughts in the meantime please get in touch either with the Patient Participation Group or myself, Rob Shephard, or any of the other parish councillors. You can talk to any councillor directly by phone or in person. The councillor page provides telephone details or you can use the form on the contact page to send a message online. Alternatively if you prefer you can email the clerk at clerk@patterdale-pc.org.uk.

If you wish to read the minutes of the last health centre meeting these can be downloaded from the meetings page 18th August 2015.

Your opinion counts so please take make the most of this opportunity to get involved and ensure your voice is heard!


Latest situation regarding the future of the Health Centre

Posted 8th October 2015

NHS England (Cumbria and the North East) is sending a letter to all patients regarding the solution for the period 7th October 2015 until 30 April 2016. The letter is copied below:


Dear Patient

 Important information regarding your GP Practice, Glenridding Health Centre

 I am writing to you following the letter we sent you on 13 August in which we advised that NHS England, Cumbria and the North East had reached agreement with The Lakes Medical Practice to deliver services in Glenridding following the retirement of Dr Smith on 06 October.

 You may already be aware that the Lakes Medical Practice has decided that they can no longer take on the practice at the present time. This is due to unforeseen circumstances which mean they need to focus on providing services to patients already registered with their existing Penrith surgery.

NHS England has been committed to maintaining services in Glenridding throughout this process and I can confirm that Cumbria Healthcare On Call (CHOC) has agreed to take on responsibility for the contract and provide GP services to the patients of Glenridding Health Centre for a temporary period from 07 October 2015 until 30 April 2016.  

As a patient you will not need to take any action. The services provided and opening hours at Glenridding Health Centre will remain unchanged.

We will be writing to you again in the coming months to provide further detail with regard to the service after 30 April 2016, however, If you have any questions or concerns please contact Healthwatch on 03003 038 567 or alternatively you can email info@healthwatchcumbria.co.uk.

Yours sincerely

Dr Craig Melrose

Interim Medical Director

NHS England

Cumbria and the North East


Latest situation regarding the future of the Health Centre

Posted 23rd September

We have been informed that unfortunately the Lakes Medical Practice is currently not in a position to take on the management of our Health Centre. Reasons for this are unclear at present but NHS England have stated that there will be locum cover on the retirement of our GP from the 7th October. As soon as further information is available this will be publicised accordingly.

Meeting scheduled for 22nd September (Cancelled)

The chair of the parish council Rob Shephard has been invited to a meeting at the Health Centre next Tuesday (22nd September 2015) at 13:30 with the Lakes Medical Practice and the Patient Participation Group. If you have any questions or points please forward them to Rob or any member of the Patient Participation Group. There is no need to resubmit any questions put at our meeting of the 18th August 2015. To contact Rob please see the Councillors Page.

The current members of the Patient Participation Group appear to be Margaret Boothroyd, Judith Sullivan, Stephen Gorton, Kenneth McDonald, Mary Bell, David Brown, Robyn Brown, Andreea Hegedus and Helen Beaty.


Post Meeting Note

The notes from the meeting held on 18th August 2015 are now available on the meetings page as a pdf file. Please click here for the Meetings page.


Future of the Glenridding Health Centre

Parish Open Meeting Tuesday 18th August 2015 19:30 Glenridding Public Hall

Following an invitation from the Parish Council Christine Keen (NHS Director of Commissioning Strategy) and Dr Craig Melrose (NHS Interim Medical Director) have kindly agreed to attend a meeting on Tuesday 18th August 2015 19:30 in the Glenridding Public Hall to discuss the future of the Glenridding Health Centre.
This is your chance to make your views known and to understand more about the ongoing process and the options and possible outcomes.

Please click here for the Links page of the council web site. In Section 4 Housing, Community Issues and Health we have links for the following:
  • Glenridding Health Centre web site.
  • Lakes Medical Practice web site.
  • Health Centre page on our community web site Patterdale Today.

Letter received from NHS England Cumbria and the North East

A letter has been received on the 14th August and is copied below. The letter can also be downloaded as a pdf file. Please go to the Documents page folder No. 11 nhs_england to find the document entitled health_centre_update.pdf.

Please click here for the documents page if you wish to download the letter shown below.

Letter start:

NHS England
Cumbria and the North East
Waterfront 4
Goldcrest Way
Newburn Riverside
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE15 8NY
14 August 2015

Dear Mr R Shephard

Important information regarding GP Practice, Glenridding Health Centre

I am writing to you following the letter we sent you on 21 July 2015 in which we advised that NHS England were in discussions with a number of providers who expressed an interest in delivering services in Glenridding.

We are now in a position to confirm that we have been successful in securing an alternative provider, The Lakes Medical Practice. The Lakes Medical Practice will commence providing services for Glenridding Health Centre on 7th October 2015.  We will now commence the detail of transferring the contract.
The Lakes Medical Practice is a local GP practice located in Penrith. The practice will provide increased telephone access, and a range of GPs and nursing staff that offer a wide variety of services. Patients will be able to access services at Glenridding or the main site in Penrith.
We will be writing to patients week commencing 17 August to advise them of the changes and confirm that patients will not need to register with another practice, unless they choose to do so.

We will however be writing to you again in the coming weeks to provide further detail with regard to the service, however if you have any questions or concerns about these changes, in the meantime please contact Kelly Wilson on Kelly.wilson@nhs.net, or alternatively phone 0113 824 7258.

Yours sincerely
Tracy Johnstone
Head of Primary Care
NHS England
Cumbria and the North East

Letter end.


Message from NHS England

posted 31st March 2015

In response to an enquiry made by the chair of the parish council to NHS England regarding the future of our Health Centre a reply was received as follows:

Thank you for contacting me about Glenridding Medical Practice and the potential risks to its future viability following the announcement of national changes to the funding system. I appreciate that the recent publicity about the possible consequences of these changes has raised concerns among many patients and we have received a number of letters from patients in the area expressing their support for the practice. 

I hope that we have been able to reassure patients and the public that we recognise that there is a need to maintain appropriate primary care services in all areas affected by these changes and in the case of Glenridding we are working with Dr Smith and with other local GPs through the Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group to decide how we maintain accessible, responsive, high quality primary medical services which will include GP provision within the local community.

We will ensure that patients are kept fully informed as these discussions continue over the next few weeks and to that end may I suggest a meeting around mid-May when we will be in a position to update on options going forward?

I have also taken the opportunity to update local Healthwatch colleagues.  

Thank you for contacting me.

Kind regards Christine Keen Director of Commissioning Cumbria and the North East NHS England

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