The leader of Corby Council has written to health bosses over a proposed cut to the funding of the town’s urgent care centre.
Tom Beattie has expressed his concerns to Corby CCG chief executive Carole Deghani in a letter also signed by former MP Andy Sawford and 2017 General Election candidate Beth Miller.
Last month the current operator, Lakeside Plus, said it wouldn’t bid for a new contract to start on October 1 unless it was offered more money.
The letter penned by the Labour trio reads: “We understand the Corby Clinical Commissioning Group recently put out to tender a contract for the running of the centre.
“The existing contractor, Lakeside Plus, chose not to submit a bid.
“Lakeside Plus have since cited the reduced patient tariff as their rationale for this decision – they feel they can no longer offer the same service within the proposed budget.
“We are deeply concerned by reports that the proposed contract will reduce the tariff from the existing rate of £44.50 to around £30 per patient.
“The centre currently receives funding for around 60,000 patients; over a 12 month period, this proposed cut to the tariff will result in cuts of between £1.2m to £1.7m from the local health budget.
“It is difficult to see how patient care will not be damaged as a result of such a reduction.
“As the care of patients is paramount to us all, we would like to ask why the CCG has made the decision to set this reduced rate, and ask how the CCG intends to ensure services are not compromised.”
A spokesman for Corby CCG said the new contract would be on a ‘caretaker’ arrangement, with the view to a long-term contract bidding process next year.
The spokesman said: “NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is now undertaking a process to secure a provider to ensure that there is no disruption of the Urgent Care Centre service when the current service expires at the end of September.
“This new contract will be a ‘caretaker’ arrangement, where services will be exactly as they are now for a 12-month period.
“This provides the time and space for the CCG to engage with the public about the future shape of urgent care services in Corby, ahead of procurement of a longer-term contract in 2018.
“We would like to take this opportunity to reassure the public that the highest standards of patient safety and care will continue to be met by the provider, whichever that may be, at the end of September.”