Change of Management at The Firs

I am writing to inform you of the upcoming changes at your GP surgery – The Firs, 26 Stephenson Road, Walthamstow, E17 7JT.

The NHS North East London is the organisation responsible for providing care to patients in the North East London area. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the regulator of Health Care services in the UK.

Following the recent CQC inspection of The Firs in June 2022, NHS North East London took the decision to terminate the contract held by the current providers as of 5 August 2022. The latest CQC report published on the 14 July 2022 can be viewed either online or paper copies at reception.

In order that you continue to receive GP services uninterrupted from the practice site, NHS North East London commissioners have awarded a temporary contract to a local provider, Addison Road Medical Practice, who will be managing the practice from the 6 August 2022.  This will be a temporary arrangement until permanent arrangements for the practice has been worked through. We will be writing to you at a later date informing you of the future plan for the practice.  

What does this mean for you?

You will continue to receive your care at The Firs.  The current clinical team and staff will continue to work at the practice. Patients do not have to change their registration to another practice. All contact details for the practice will remain the same.

There is no action for you to take.

How can I find out more information?

We will keep you updated on the developments through information available at the practice. We understand some patients may have questions or concerns. You may raise these directly with the practice manager at the surgery on 020 8223 9840 or via our secure online form. Alternatively, you may contact NHS North East London.

An information sheet with answers to frequently asked questions will shortly be available at the surgery 

This information may be available in alternative languages upon request.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Firs Medical Centre closing down? And do patients now have to register with Addison Road Medical Practice?

No, The Firs Medical Centre is not closing down, the practice is under a caretaking contract which was awarded to The Addison Road Medical Practice which is in the same PCN and a 10 minute drive from The Firs Medical Centre. Patients do not have to register with Addison Road Medical Practice

What is a PCN?

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are groups of practices working together to focus local patient care and Enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care for all registered patients.

Who is the new management?

  • Dr Crofton: Senior Medical Director and GP partner at the Addison Road Medical Practice
  • Dr Ahmad: Clinical Lead
  • Sindhu Balakrishnan: Management Lead

What about Dr John and Dr Akingbala?

Dr Akingbala and Dr John have retired as of the 5th of August 2022.

What will happen to the staff at The Firs once the new caretaking provider takes over?

Existing staff will be able to continue working at The Firs Medical Centre under the management of the new caretaking provider.

How many other GPs will there be available?

All GPs will continue to work with The Firs Medical Centre, a total of 5 part-time Salaried GPs: Dr Siddique, Dr Elias, Dr Rizvi, Dr Iqbal and Dr Vilvanathan. Dr Imran Ahmad is appointed for 6 sessions as the Clinical Lead and Dr Crofton will be providing on the ground leadership

What happens after this temporary period? Is The Firs going to close after that?

The caretaking arrangements will be in place for a minimum of 12 months, with the option to extend by a further 6 months if required. This will provide NEL ICB sufficient time to put in place long term arrangements for the registered patient list at the Firs Medical Centre. You will be kept informed in advance of any changes regarding the long-term future of the practice, prior to the caretaking arrangements coming to an end.

Are there going to be any changes made in the way we receive care?

Yes, the provider is looking at ways to improve access and will be prioritising the remedial actions pointed out at the last inspection by the CQC.

Patients will be informed of the changes being made in managing the prescription requests and appointment booking systems.

80% of appointment have now been released as face to face appointments, providing patients with the choice of how they would like to manage their healthcare access according to clinical appropriateness. Appointments can now be pre-booked up to 6 weeks in advance.

Are there going to be more nurses?

The management has plans to recruit a qualified full time nurse for The Firs Medical Centre.

Can you confirm that the practice of non-medical staff providing test results to patients will be stopped?

All results are filed by a clinician and the administrators do not interpret them. They do communicate what has been filed and this information is also available on your NHS apps. The administrators only relay what is available and filed by clinicians into patient notes.

What is the process to join PPG?

Please fill in an online form available on our website or at the end of the session you can leave your names with the administrator.

You can express your interest with one of our reception staff anytime and we will add you to the mailing list and keep you updated.

Who will be my accountable GP?

All patients will be assigned to Dr Janakan Crofton and Dr Imran Ahmad.

Published: Aug 4, 2022