MP Bill Esterson today visited UC24
MP Bill Esterson today visited UC24, the new providers for seven GP practices in Sefton, at their Headquarters in Wavertree. He met with UC24’s Chief Executive, Kate Lucy and members of the UC24 board to discuss their plans for the future of the practices.
UC24, a Social Enterprise, is one of the region’s biggest providers of primary health care services and their acquisition of the Sefton practices is part of its growing provision of a variety of Primary Care and Urgent Care services across Merseyside and the North West.
MP Bill Esterson was keen to understand the approach of UC24 to looking after the patients in these practices. The practices have experienced significant instability over the last two years with multiple providers and difficulty in recruiting a stable salaried clinical workforce.
Kate Lucy explained, “We recognise that both the staff and patients who use these practices have been through lots of change. As a not-for-profit social enterprise, looking after staff and patients is our number one priority. We have engaged with local community and voluntary groups so that we can work together for the benefit of patients. Our ambition is to deliver the best possible primary care services in Sefton.”
Acknowledging the challenge faced in recruiting GP’s she added, “As a significant supplier of primary care services we have strong relationships with local GP’s. Many of these GP’s have expressed an interest to work with us in Sefton and I am pleased to say that we have already identified a number of salaried GP’s to work with us on a permanent basis in our Sefton practices. This will help us to provide continuity of care for our patients.”
The Sefton practices to be managed by UC24 are Thornton, Crossways, and Crosby Village Surgery in Crosby, and also Litherland Practice and Seaforth Village Surgery. In addition to this, UC24 will also act as the interim provider for the Maghull and Netherton practices.
Bill Esterson MP said, “Thank you to Urgent Care 24 for asking to meet me so soon after taking over the GP practices in Maghull, Thornton and Crosby. I was impressed to learn of their long term plans to ensure that we all get to see a family doctor and that their GP practices have the best staff and work with the rest of the NHS. They answered my questions about the concerns raised with me by patients and I hope that they can deal with those concerns in the coming months to the satisfaction of everyone here. For far too long, we have seen problems at the GP practices in my constituency and I am pleased that UC24 are keen to work with patients and with the community to make sure we have the best possible doctors surgeries we can.
“There are clearly problems with GP services across the whole country as a result of the shortage of GPs, so UC24’s commitment to having their own GPs in place as soon as possible is welcome and will be good news for patients. The cuts to funding by the Conservatives mean that social care is really struggling and our pharmacies have also just had a big cut as well. The cuts put pressure on A&E and on GPs, so it is vital that UC24 and all GP practices work together to try to cope with the shortage of money which this government has caused.
“I look forward to working with UC24 and to visiting their practices in Crosby and in Maghull and Thornton soon. I also hope that NHS England will listen to patients in Hightown and at Freshfield Surgery, where doubts have been expressed by them about whether the surgeries will remain open or not. We need good quality GP practices and I wish UC24 well as they aim to make sure family doctors can deliver excellent healthcare for everyone when we need.”