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Farron: "NHS discussion over rural GP surgeries is helpful"

January 31, 2014 3:09 PM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron said his discussions this week with NHS bosses were "helpful" in the ongoing campaign to protect the vital GP services in Coniston and Hawkshead.

Tim spoke with Christine Keen, the NHS Director of Commissioning, and Anthony Gardner, Network Director South Cumbria. During the discussion, Tim was reassured that a "service should be kept in both communities".

Tim pressed the NHS to reconsider their view that Hawkshead and Coniston be considered as 'outliers'. They currently aren't, but Tim firmly pressed the view that they should be.

This was taken on board by Christine and Anthony, and it is believed that Coniston is on the cusp of being described as an 'outlier'. If they are described as such, it could potentially allow them to access further help and support. NHS England area teams have begun consulting with practices, patients and CCGs to find solutions for the 98 'outliers' worst affected.

One area team has told outlier practices they are likely to continue to receive their current MPIG payments beyond April, when the first round of cuts kicks in, until the matter is resolved.

Tim was also told that the Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group are meeting with Coniston and have already met with Hawkshead to discuss their situation.

Tim said: "This conversation was very helpful and I hope another step forward in our campaign to protect our GP surgeries. I will keep pushing hard to do that. I have asked the NHS to make the make both of the surgeries 'outliers' - this could unlock the help and support they need."