Stevenage MP calls time on ‘failed’ Lister Surgicentre

AN MP has said time has run out for the private operators of a major new surgery centre after receiving a catalogue of complaints about cancellations and difficulty in getting appointments.

In an open letter published here, member for Stevenage, Stephen McPartland, says it is time for the Lister Surgicentre run by Clinicenta and parent company Carillion to be returned to NHS control. The firm has a five-year contract to provide routine surgery at the site which opened last year, but the MP says the company has proved itself unqualified to do so.

Mr McPartland writes:

The service provided to patients and their families by the Clinicenta-Carillion owned Surgicentre is just not good enough. The catalogue of complaints surrounding the Surgicentre continue to increase and my constituents continue to find it difficult to get appointments and then they are often cancelled at short notice.

Even though Clinicenta-Carillion are receiving less referrals than expected, they are still only managing to treat about 50 per cent within 18 weeks. Patients should be treated within the rights outlined in the NHS constitution and some of my constituents are being offered treatment in other units because their wait is so long.

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It is public knowledge that I organised a meeting with other Members of Parliament and summoned Clinicenta-Carillion to Parliament to explain themselves. The Care Quality Commission has also investigated its services and found they failed on four out of five of its standards. Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust has also intervened on several occasions and without its support it would have been even worse.

It is clear that the shared pathway process, which was implemented by the previous government, is deeply flawed and must be reformed. Under the previous government any willing company could provide services, but we have changed the law so only qualified companies can provide services. Clinicenta-Carillion may have been willing, but they certainly are not qualified and this is why we are in this situation.

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I met with the Minister of State for Health, last week and his civil servants to explain the situation. I made it clear that time has run out for Clinicenta-Carillion and they should not be involved in managing the Surgicentre. They have failed and I will not accept or allow them to fail my constituents - their time has run out.

I am proud of the staff who work so hard under intolerable pressure from Clinicenta-Carillion to try and help local patients and their families. I am committed to working with the Department of Health, Care Quality Commission and the local NHS to identify a new way forward for the Surgicentre which puts patients first.

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