While the Harrow West MP (Lab) is worried that the walk-in centres at Alexandra Avenue and the Pinn Medical Centre could be handed to a private company because of the government’s new rules, Mr Thomas has taken no notice of the local concerns about the shaky confidence in and potential conflict of interest at the Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group.
Mr Thomas might have a political score but the local walk in centres are in no real danger of taken over by outside bidders as the key GP partners in the surgeries running these centres are likely to bid and win with the addition of New Harrow East walk in centre. All these high profile key players – Dr Amol Kelshiker (The Pinn Medical Centre), Dr Genevieve Small (Ridgeway / Alexandra Avenue Surgery), Dr Kanesh Rajani (Streatfield Health Centre) – are senior members of the Harrow CCG governing body.
On the other hand the position of the GPs owned Community Interest Company (transformed from the Harrow health Ltd) which has limitations on how much profit can be distributed, seems to be played down and is not likely to be used as a local serious bidder.
Such is the upper hand of the HCCG, that it seems to be involved in the board election for the independent Community Interest Company/Harrow health Ltd where each practice’s vote will form the number of points based on its patient list size – the election results are point based. Pinn has the highest number of registered patients with the Ridgeway Surgery in third place. Conflict of interest?
Good that the walk in centres provide primary care services 365 days a year, but there are implications, especially where the care services are channelled in a certain direction on the basis of more patients more funds flow their way, because of which majority of the other GP practices will lose funds as these would be siphoned off to the three walk in centres in Harrow.
There are also concerns about the loss of the continuity of care – for example, the GP practice which has tried not to issue the antibiotic unnecessarily, loses the battle as the walk in centre doctor could readily prescribe it.