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Future of Corby’s Urgent Care Centre to be decided at Judicial Review

The future of a Northamptonshire care provider which treats around 75,000 people a year will be decided at a Judicial Review today.

Legal action has been brought forward from campaigners to Corby’s Urgent Care Centre, opened in 2013, a provider which is operated by private firm Lakeside Plus Ltd.

The centre was built to take pressure off nearby Kettering General Hospital, but last year the private firm said they could no longer afford to operate services from Corby due to a lack of funding from the Corby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

This, combined with Lakeside Plus’ contract for the running of the healthcare centre ending in March 2019, will see Corby CCG begin the hunt for a new provider.

The CCG also outlined changes to the service from a walk-in unit to become appointment-only, arguing that the decision should not go to a public survey. However, a judge in Cardiff said in late June that the decision should go to a review in the Welsh capital.

Corby CCG said it has committed to starting the formal search for an organisation to run the planned new ‘same day access hub,’ which will provide GP-led care for minor injuries and illnesses but will be appointment-only.

The commissioning group noted they aimed to “head off the risk” of there being no service in place following the departure of Lakeside Plus’ services.

Dr Joanne Watt, clinical chair of the CCG, said: “We’re responsible for providing the clinical services our patients need, and have to ensure there’s no gap at the end of any contract. We need to start the procurement process now, because it can take many months to go through all the complex stages.

“Those people who currently use the Urgent Care Centre must be able to continue getting the medical help they need, without any break in service.”

The CCG has formally notified Lakeside Plus, the private company running the UCC, that it intends to commence procurement shortly, inviting tenders to run the hub. Corby CCG has asked Lakeside Plus for information needed to ensure a smooth transition.

Dr Watt added: “Although we are awaiting the outcome of the Judicial Review, the implications of not beginning procurement are serious. We have to ensure continuity of care, for the benefit of the people of Corby.”

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