Surgery needs new cash injection

THE future of a Portishead medical practice could be thrown into question, after care chiefs revealed they are pulling out of running it

THE future of a Portishead medical practice could be thrown into question, after care chiefs revealed they are pulling out of running it.The North Somerset Primary Care Trust, which currently runs the Harbourside Family Practice, is putting the management of the practice out to tender in a bid to find another contractor to run it.The practice, which employs three doctors and has 6,500 patients on its books, is one of two surgeries across the district which is run by the trust.The trust took over the Harbour Road centre three years ago after one of the doctors who was running it resigned and no other contractor could be found to manage it.North Somerset Primary Care Trust director of care Ann Van Vliet said: "The PCT had no choice to take over the running of the practice following the resignation of Doctor Denton."Now we are seeking to find alternative managers for the practice."Primary care trusts are more and more becoming commissioners of services rather than providers."We took on the management of the Harbourside Practice at the time as there was no other alternative. But a decision was taken that when the practice was stabilised we would look for a new contractor to run it."Mrs Van Vliet said the chosen contractor would have to agree to employ the surgery staff and doctors and move the service to the new primary care resource centre being built by the trust when it opens at Harbour Road in 2008.She added: "Whoever takes on the practice will employ the same staff and there will be no change for patients."The tenders have now gone out and it is hoped the new contractor will be identified by mid March.It is likely the new managers will take over in early July.The new primary care resource centre, expected to cost £3 million, will also become the base for a new children's centre.


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