GP practice in special measures taken over by foundation trust

A practice put into special measures by the CQC because of a 'staffing crisis' has been taken over by a local foundation trust.

GP surgery: foundation trust takeover (Photo: Robert Johns/UNP)
GP surgery: foundation trust takeover (Photo: Robert Johns/UNP)

Priory Avenue Surgery in Reading will be run by Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on an interim 12-month contract from 1 June.

The 7,600-patient practice was previously run by Specialist Health Services Ltd under an APMS contract.

The CQC put the practice into special measures in January. A damning inspection report identified problems with access and a shortage of clinical and non-clinical staff.

GP practice taken over

Last month a group of practices in Derbyshire was temporarily taken over by a hospital foundation trust after the provider handed back its contract following a recruitment crisis. Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust (FT) told GPonline it could consider running the practices long-term.

NHS England director of commissioning Debra Elliott said: ‘Our top priority is the patients of Priory Avenue Surgery and ensuring that they have access to good quality primary medical services. We are pleased to announce that Berkshire Healthcare has been awarded the contract to take over the running of the Priory Avenue Surgery in Reading.'

The community and mental health trust had ‘an excellent track record and good experience in providing GP services across the county’, added Ms Elliott. ‘We are confident that they will provide good quality services and deliver both continuity of care and a friendly, professional service to all patients at the practice.’

GP patient list

The foundation trust - which runs out-of-hours GP services in part of Berkshire - was appointed following a ‘process to determine which provider could best fit the urgent needs of the patient population at the surgery’, commissioners said.

Berkshire Healthcare’s director of corporate affairs Bev Searle said: ‘We are pleased to have been awarded this new contract to provide primary care services to the patients of Priory Avenue Surgery. Our priority is the provision of safe and effective care to patients and we are planning to maintain all of the services at the surgery, while working to improve access to appointments. Patients can expect the continuation of friendly and caring staff at the surgery and we are really looking forward to working with both the staff and patients at Priory Avenue.’

GPonline was unable to contact Specialist Health Services Ltd for comment before publication.

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