Campaigners who fought to save Corby’s Urgent Care Centre say there are questions that need answering after a deal was reached with a new operator.
This morning Corby CCG announced they had signed a deal to keep it open until at least 2021.
The deal means that, from April 1 this year, the Cottingham Road centre will be under new management.
Current operators Lakeside+ will be replaced by OnePrimaryCare, part of Leeds-based OneMedicalGroup, who run services across the country from Bracknell in the south to Cumbria in the north.
The deal will see them run it until March 31, 2021, although there is the option of an extension of a year. OneMedicalGroup say it is not unusual for contracts to run in this way.
Maria Bryan, from the Save Corby Urgent Care action group, was wary about the deal.
She said: “We are puzzled as to why they have got a two-year deal when there is three years to be covered.
“We will be asking a lot of questions that need answering.”
Maria said she was concerned the deal would mean some local accountability would be lost.
She added: “My ill health will make someone a profit and that’s a concern of ours.”
Under the deal the centre will remain open from 8am to 8pm every day of the year and will retain the same walk-in service for anyone with an urgent but minor injury or illness that needs treating.
Beth Miller, Labour’s Corby candidate for the next general election, said: “I am so pleased to hear the urgent care centre’s medium term future is secured.
“This is really positive news for people in Corby and beyond.
“With news of a new provider I hope that the CCG are able to ensure a smooth transition, working effectively with Lakeside, and that they ensure are staff are treated fairly and aren’t left worse off by the changes.”
Rachel Beverley-Stevenson, chief executive of OneMedicalGroup, said: “OneMedicalGroup is an independent, family-owned company with a successful track record of delivering local, high quality and community-focused NHS urgent care services.
“From support centre in Leeds and locations across the UK, our talented team has the experience, expertise and resource-in-depth to deliver quality, patient-focused care the people of Corby.”
Corby MP Tom Pursglove said the decision to keep it open was “a victory for common sense” and testament to the strength of local feeling.
He said: “The procurement outcome announced today delivers on the commitment to keep it open and I also welcome the additional GP capacity that has been procured alongside it - I know that ease of access for GP appointments is an important issue for local residents and this will do much to help improve that situation.
“Last week, we also saw the Government announce that, in Corby, over 13,000 people aged 55-74 will be eligible for a ‘Targeted Lung Health Check’ - important given the proud industrial nature of our town, and a further boost for primary care services in Corby.
“It is absolutely right that we invest in local health services and make sure that they best meet local needs, with a real focus on prevention and keeping people well for longer - all helped by the significant boost to NHS spending we are seeing nationally, of nearly £400 million extra a week.
“I am delighted that the future of our urgent care services is secured in the medium-term (I am advised that the contract is what is known in the NHS as a 2+1), and I will of course be making the case for these services in the longer-term. I am also delighted that GP and nurse based access is to be improved.
“Both of these are key priorities for local people and I welcome the fact the CCG has listened and delivered on them.
“I wish the new providers well and look forward to the continuation of an excellent UCC service at Cottingham Road.”