NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and McKenzie Group have launched a survey to seek peoples’ views on the future provision of services from Hartfields Medical Centre, based at Hartfields Extra Care Village in Hartlepool.
An 8-week period of public engagement begins on 9 May 2022 and will run until midnight on Sunday 3 July 2022. This follows a previous period of engagement in July/August 2021.
This second phase engagement and new survey will help the CCG and McKenzie Group to look more closely at the impact of a possible permanent closure, whilst also beginning to explore alternatives to Hartfields Medical Centre being fully closed and fully open.
Hartfields Medical Centre closed temporarily from mid-March 2020 until 10 January 2022 as the size and layout of the building did not enable McKenzie Group to ensure a COVID-safe environment for patients and staff.
The CCG and McKenzie Group are directly inviting patients who would most likely be affected by potential changes to services delivered from Hartfields Medical Centre to share their views. They have been identified as patients who have attended Hartfields Medical Centre for an appointment since it reopened following a temporary closure on 10 January 2022, and/or in the two years prior to the temporary closure in March 2020. These patients (or their parent or guardian for patients under 16 years) will receive a letter, a paper survey and freepost reply envelope in the coming days.
In addition, local residents and anyone who would like to complete the survey are welcome to take part, to ensure the wider population and stakeholders of Hartlepool can give their feedback, whether or not they are registered with a McKenzie Group practice.
In February 2021, McKenzie Group submitted a draft proposal to the CCG to close Hartfields Medical Centre permanently, on the basis that this would enable them to centralise services across their four remaining sites, enhance clinical quality and practice resilience, run more efficiently, and continue to deliver high quality of care to their patients.
This resulted in a period of engagement last summer to understand what the impact of the temporary closure had been on patients and their families, as well as to better understand the potential impact of a permanent closure. The feedback from this engagement was analysed and fed back to the CCG, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Audit & Governance Committee and Healthwatch and shared on the McKenzie Group practice website.
Whilst the McKenzie Group draft proposal related to the potential permanent closure of the Hartfields Medical Centre, McKenzie Group and the CCG would like to continue to explore other possibilities for providing some services from Hartfields Medical Centre as an alternative to full closure.
The new survey below will ask further questions about the impact of a possible permanent closure, whilst also beginning to explore alternatives to the branch being fully closed and fully open. No decisions have been or will be made regarding future provision of services prior to further engagement and consultation, if required.
In addition to the survey, other methods of engagement will include focus groups, conducted by Healthwatch Hartlepool to help the CCG and McKenzie Group consider the likely impact of any potential changes on different groups of local people, and a series of patient engagement sessions held during May and June. Details can be found here.
Anyone wishing to have their say can complete the following online survey by midnight on Sunday 3 July https://necs.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/hartfields.
A full engagement report will be produced at the end of the engagement activity, and this will be used to inform and support McKenzie Group to decide whether to progress a formal application to the CCG for a branch closure, or changes to service provision from Hartfields Medical Centre; and will also support the CCG to make an informed decision, should a formal request be received.
Any viable and sustainable scenarios that are developed may be taken forward, and any proposals for significant change will be subject to formal consultation with people who access Hartfields Medical Centre and the wider public.