PPG Letter to MP

21 April 2023                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Castle Donington Patient Participation Group
C/o Castle Donington Surgery
53 Borough Street

Castle Donington 

DE74 2LB


By email: andrew.bridgen.mp@parliament.uk   


Dear Mr Bridgen MP

Castle Donington Surgery Patient Concerns

We write to you as the representative group for patients registered with the Castle Donington GP Surgery. We are extremely concerned that the Surgery is on the Integrated Care Board (ICB) risk register for growth due to the growth of the village’s population.

The local population (registered at the surgery) has expanded from 9,000 in November 2020 to 10,300 in December 2022 and yet more new houses are being built around the edges of the village: more new patients will inevitably join the surgery’s list. 

The BMA recommendation is for the practice to offer 75 appointments per 1,000 patients a week, and yet the surgery is currently averaging 150 per 1,000, which is double the BMA recommended level.

We understand that the surgery concentrated on reducing it backlog over the summer of 2022, spending funds on locums and additional support. The backlog is not yet entirely cleared and the surgery is still offering 1,500 appointment slots per week (approx. 150 appointments per 1,000 patients). This is completely unsustainable in the longer term.

Adding to this pressure is the effect of the surgery’s practice boundary. This currently includes Melbourne, Sawley, Aston-on-Trent and Kegworth even though some of these areas have their own GP practices. A request to reduce the practice boundary (for new registrations, existing patients outside of the boundary will remain until they change address) is being considered – work is in progress and it should be discussed shortly.

Looking at the data, the surgery is ‘over-providing.’ This is stretching the clinical team which is at risk of burnout. There is also the additional cost to the NHS for mistakes made due to overburdened clinicians.

Finance and funding for the surgery are problematic. The surgery has no funds for discretionary spending. Additional costs due to heat, light and increasing costs of staffing are being absorbed by the surgery with no additional funding available.

Further, we understand that the ICB has no plans to fund or seek any additional health practice within the area and this includes the existing surgery opening another branch in the near future, which in our view, is both short-sighted and likely to lead to further difficulties for the surgery and its clinical and administrative teams.

We urge you, as our MP, to:

  • Make contact with the ICB and NHS England to resolve the boundary dilemma so that the surgery is not required to accept patients from areas which are already served by an alternative GP surgery;
  • Make contact with the ICB to urge it to reconsider its decision that it will not fund or support an additional health practice within the area, whether that is a branch of the existing surgery or the opening of another surgery, to serve the expanding population.
  • Apply pressure upon NHS England to increase the funding available to the surgery so that it can employ sufficient clinicians and administrative staff to serve the expanding population and medical needs of Castle Donington patients.

Yours sincerely

Signed by the secretary on behalf of
Castle Donington Patient Participation Group