LETTER: How to complain about the NHS

NHS East Lancashire would like to take this opportunity to respond to the concerns of patients regarding Pendle Valley Practice, raised in a letter to the Nelson Leader/Colne Times/Barnoldswick & Earby Times on December 30th.

On behalf of NHS East Lancashire, I am writing to say we are sorry to learn the authors of the letter feel there has been deterioration in the operation of Pendle Valley Practice. While it would be inappropriate to discuss individual cases or circumstances, if any patient has a concern or complaint about their practice, there is a well-established process for making this heard and ensuring a response is made. Patients wishing to do this may contact the PCT which will thoroughly and fairly investigate the matter, and work with the practice to make improvements where they are required.

The Department of Health established an NHS “Right to Request” scheme which enabled frontline NHS staff employed by Primary Care Trusts to establish a social enterprise to deliver healthcare services to NHS patients. A group of staff from the five PCT provided Medical Practices, including Pendle Valley Practice, did express interest in setting up a social enterprise under the NHS “Right to Request” Scheme and this was agreed in principle by the PCT Board. The PCT supported the staff in developing their social enterprise business case which was forwarded to the NHS North West Strategic Health Authority for approval in August, 2011. Unfortunately on September 12th, 2011, the PCT was informed by the SHA the bid had been unsuccessful. 

Following the unsuccessful application for social enterprise status, the PCT Board of NHS East Lancashire considered options available for the practices. After much consideration, the PCT Board agreed a formal tender process would be the most effective way of ensuring continuity of care for patients and employment for the staff. A formal procurement process has begun that will identify a new long-term provider for medical services to patients and employer for the staff.

LISA CUNLIFFE

Primary and Community Commissioning Manager.