20th Jan 2023

Important Update re North Harbour practice closure and survey

We need your help to identify if there is public demand for services to stay at North Harbour.

What is happening

The closure of this practice was not expected. A new practice was due to be built and open in under two years at a site close to Cosham health centre. (link) It had been planned to move the services from North harbour to the new site. However, The North Garbour group have decided to cease practicing in Spring this year.

Many people, even those who live in other areas in the city, choose to go to Cosham. It is convenient for their work, for parking, they get another service they use there or other reasons. I want patients to have the widest possible choice about where they get their primary healthcare and for the transfer to a new GP to be as stress-free as possible.

What are your options, and can you stay being treated at North Harbour?

The Integrated Care Board (ICB) has mailed all patients asking them to choose a new GP practice in their catchment area. This might suit some people very well. However, there will be some patients who will want to continue going to the North harbour site, or near it, to visit the GP or to get other health and community services.

The ICB has tried to get a new GP practice to take over the North Harbour site, but none want to. There is however another option to continue services there. The Drayton Practice has a small GP practice on Wootton Street – right next door to the health centre car park. The Drayton Practice are one of the surgeries expected to take a large share of North Harbours patients. They are also expected to take over the running of the new Highclere surgery when it is built.

Penny has asked both the Secretary of State for Health and the ICB to consider extending the Wootton Street facility – if need be using a high-quality temporary building, which could be sited in the existing health centre car park. She has an agreement from the ICB and Solent Trust to explore this option.

There would be several benefits to this option for patients wanting a GP service at Cosham:

  • The experience of accessing care would be close to their current routine.
  • They would be registered with Drayton Surgery, and would therefore be automatically transferred to Highclere surgery when it opens. So further stress and admin would be avoided.
  • Solent Trust might consider running its podiatry service out of the extended Wootton Street site if that were appropriate.

This is why it is important for the ICB t be able to know who would like to make use of such an option. However, they have no means of doing this. Rather than ask patients which surgery they would like to register with they have only allowed patients to choose from a very narrow list, and in some cases, just one surgery.

I think it is imperative we gauge patient opinion on the Wootton Street/ North Harbour option so I am asking patients and prospective patients to complete this survey.

If there is strong support for retaining GP and community services on the North Harbour site it will help me make the case that the Drayton Practice should have the option to expand the work it does from the Wootton Street site.

You can complete the survey here: https://forms.gle/SNnRRTcRmVQ7o2TH6

When will Highclere be open.

Penny has asked NHS England to bring forward the Highclere build. The Secretary of State’s aim is to have a new surgery up and running within a year, by Spring 2024.