Bramingham Park Medical Centre and Kingsway Health Centre, Luton
The GP services at Kingsway Health Centre and Bramingham Park Medical Centre in Luton are currently provided by Operose Health on fixed-term contracts which are both due to end on 30 June 2023.
We are looking for a provider to run Bramingham Park Medical Centre and Kingsway Health Centre as one contract, with a main and branch surgery. The process to find a provider is underway, and a new contract will start on 1 July 2023.
Letters* have been sent to every household with a patient registered at the practice via post to explain the situation.
*There is an error on the letters, they say ‘Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board (BLMK ICB) is responsible for arranging GP services in Milton Keynes’. The letters should say ‘‘Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board (BLMK ICB) is responsible for arranging GP services in Luton’. We would like to apologise to patients for any confusion caused.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are general practices?
General practices are small to medium-sized businesses whose services are contracted by NHS commissioners to provide generalist medical services in a geographical or population area.
Most general practices in England are run by a GP partnership. These contracts do not have an end date. Some general practice contracts are also held by corporate bodies, who do not have to be GPs but must employ GPs and other qualified staff to provide services. This type of contract is time limited and has to be reprocured every few years.
2. Why are the contracts being renewed?
Both contracts are time limited and finish on 30 June 2023. Therefore a procurement exercise needs to take place to see who will deliver services from 1 July 2023.
As Bramingham Park Medical Centre is a relatively small practice we are looking for a provider to run both practices under one contract, with Bramingham Park Medical Centre becoming a branch surgery of Kingsway Health Centre.
3. What is the difference between a main and branch surgery?
There’s not much difference between a main and branch surgery. When a GP practice has more than one surgery, they usually name one as their main surgery and the others as branch surgeries. The formal contract is usually in the name of the main surgery. The branch surgery normally has a different name and address.
Patients can usually attend appointments at both the main and branch surgeries.
4. Will I still be able to access all the services I do now at both practices?
Yes, all general practice services will continue to be offered at both sites as they are now.
5. Who will be running the practices from 1 July?
The process to find a provider is underway. As soon as the process allows, we will confirm who the provider is to patients and stakeholders.
6. What will the opening hours be when the new contract starts?
The opening hours from 1 July 2023 will be 8am-6.30pm Monday – Friday at both sites. Appointments will still be available until 8pm on weekday evenings and from 9am-5pm on Saturdays through the ‘primary care network’ (PCN) which Bramingham Park Medical Centre and Kingsway Health Centre belong to and these can be booked by phoning the practice during opening hours. Some of these additional appointments may take place at a different surgery but you will be given full details when you book.
7. What does this mean for patients?
Patients will not be adversely affected and do not need to do anything. Services will continue from 1 July in the same way as they do now and patients will be able to attend appointments at both sites.
We are aware from patient feedback that getting through on the phone and making an appointment has been difficult at times. We want to make sure that things improve and the new opening hours will help improve staffing levels which will make it easier for patients to get in touch and to book appointments when they need to.
8. What does this mean for the staff?
The practices will transfer over to a new provider on 1 July 2023. All staff employed by the practices will be offered the opportunity to transfer over to the employment of the new provider.
9. What is a primary care network (PCN)?
A primary care network (PCN) is a group of local practices working together to deliver additional services and better care to their patients.
10. Which PCN are Bramingham Park Medical Centre and Kingsway Health Centre part of?
Both practices are part of Phoenix Sunrisers PCN. The GP practices in ‘Phoenix Sunrisers’ PCN are:
|Bramingham Park Medical Centre||Neville Road Surgery|
|Kingsway Health Centre||Pastures Way Surgery|
|Conway Road Surgery||Wenlock Surgery.|
|Malzeard Road Surgery|
11. What do I do if I have an urgent healthcare need when the practice is closed?
If you need access to an urgent appointment on Sundays or at any time outside of surgery hours you should go to https://111.nhs.uk/ or dial 111. In an emergency dial 999.
12. I have a question, how do I get in touch with you?
Primary Care Team, Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board
23 March 2023