Update on our Lowdham Building
~ 2 months ago
10 October 2022
We would like to provide an update to our patients about recent developments which relate to our Lowdham building.
We wanted to write with an update with regards to our Lowdham building. We have been working hard over the years to find solutions to improving facilities for staff and patients in the building. We agree with our patients that the Lowdham building needs to be improved and updated to enable us to offer the quality of service that we want to provide to you now and for the future.
Although we have explored lots of different ways to make improvements, we have unfortunately faced some blocks to moving it forward. As we share the site with another practice, we have also had our options limited in some ways and we’ve not been able to move as quickly with solutions. With managing the pandemic, we have had to focus on lots of different priorities including patient care and workforce which you may have seen in the press. We have focused over the past 12 months more so on our buildings. In November 2021 we put in a proposal to start a plan for the buildings we need for the future. We recognise that our patients would like to be available in one place rather than using lots of sites. We have a vision for providing more services locally including more access to community teams that can work with us. Our current buildings are not ideal to deliver that vision.
Whilst we have been working on this project, about a month ago we were notified about some repairs which are now required at the Lowdham building. Over the past 4 weeks we have been working tirelessly to find a solution to those. Unfortunately, there have been barriers to finding a way forward so quickly.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are our regulators that look after the services in the NHS. The CQC have recently inspected Jubilee Park and during that inspection they have noted the quality of the building and asked for these repairs to be in place. We have worked with everyone to try and meet this request to the very best of our abilities but at the moment we don’t have a clear solution. We have shared our plans which we are working on and have been over the past 4 weeks with the CQC. At the moment they are looking at those plans to see if they would ask the practice to take any further steps to resolve the issues. One of the possible outcomes would be if they wanted the practices to use other premises rather than the Lowdham building to provide services. We would agree with our CQC colleagues raising these concerns and will support them in any requests to improve our sites and ensure they are fit for staff and patients.
We wanted to write to reassure our patients that if the CQC does ask both practices to work out of other premises temporarily we have requested and met with the Nottinghamshire NHS estates and quality teams today. We have let them know that we are committed to looking after our Lowdham patients and will be working with them to seek temporary buildings in Lowdham until we can progress our main premises plan. We have contacted Amanda Sullivan the CEO for our health community to help support us through this process.
We have worked together as a team at Ivy to have plans in place to manage any change and ensure we are able to continue to help our patients and provide care to them. This plan includes using our other buildings in the best way possible, to put in place a new delivery service for medications to Lowdham if eligible via our dispensary, to put in place solutions for home visiting where access is more tricky and to have electronic prescribing for our none dispensing patients.
We strongly wanted to reassure you all, we have always worked hard to try and resolve the issues that have been beyond our sole control. We understand that this period may be a worrying time for some of our patients, but we are here for you. Our priority is patient care and myself and my team will always make the right decisions to look after the care of our patients. We are waiting for the CQC to update us, and we will then make a further announcement on the plan.
I am eternally grateful for the support of my staff, patients and the Nottingham NHS team who are very thankful for our service during the pandemic and stand ready to support us.
We will shortly create a frequently asked questions summary to help address the questions patients may have if we do have to make changes quickly. Our CQC team and the Nottingham NHS team are also contactable below for any further information.
Be assured that we will always work in the interest of best care for our patients, and we will have an update for you as soon as we know.
Dr Panesar and your Team.
NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board
0115 845 4545
Care Quality Commission.