Health centre saved from closure after contract deal

Bournville's For All Healthy Living Centre.

Bournville's For All Healthy Living Centre. - Credit: Archant

Primary care services in one of the most deprived areas in the country will continue to be delivered by GPs from next month.

The agreement means the Locality Health Centre in Weston’s Bournville estate will not shut down once the contract with the Healthy Living Company, which has been running the services for 10 years, expires at the end of this month.

In July, NHS bosses invited bids from providers after Healthcare UK decided to reduce the budget for the estate by 50 per cent.

The new provider, Pier Health, will begin on November 1 and patients will not be required to re-register.

NHS commissioners are writing to all patients and staff to confirm the new management arrangements and staff will be transferred to the Locality from the beginning of November.

The Mercury reported last week that the medical centre’s future appeared in doubt after no bids had been placed, prompting concerns from patients and staff members.

MORE: Medical centre on Weston estate faces uncertain future.

Cllr Roz Willis, chairman of the health overview scrutiny panel and Cllr Ian Parker, chairman of the GP working group, said they were ‘delighted’ with the decision.

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They said: “The health and overview scrutiny panel has been kept informed throughout the whole process of the Locality Health Centre situation and has closely worked with the Clinical Commissioning Group on a solution which is best for the area and patients.

“We are delighted we now have an answer which will ensure the future of services for one of our most deprived areas.

“We will continue to monitor progress and work together with all partners involved.”

Chairman of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Jonathan Hayes. “This is an excellent outcome and I am sure patients and staff will be reassured to know the future of the service has been resolved following some uncertainty in recent weeks.

“Our ambition has always been to retain primary care services at the Locality Health Centre following the expiry of the current contract, and we have been working very hard to identify a new provider following the re-procurement exercise we ran in the summer.

“I’m particularly pleased that local GPs have come together as a group to secure the future of the practice.”