As readers will know, I met late last week with the Chief Executive of the Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to discuss the difficulties which local residents have recently experienced with a number of GP surgeries.
Rest assured that I raised with them the whole spectrum of difficulties which local residents have faced – from access over the telephone to ensuring that someone is seen in person where there is a clinical need.
I also raised with them about ensuring that referrals are continuing to be made onto other NHS services and specialties for those who need them.
Following our discussion, I am pleased to be able to report that a number of outcomes which I hope over time will ease the difficulties which many of us are facing.
Firstly, the CCG have provided expert IT support to surgeries facing technical difficulties with their phone lines. Whilst the CCG inform me that there have been some issues affecting the telecoms provider across the UK, there are also some more localised issues which compound the problems. It is these localised issues which the CCG are putting in expert IT support to resolve.
Secondly, the CCG are going to provide me with data so that I can be assured that the service is improving. I have asked that this data includes things like average waiting times, number of calls dropped and other metrics which show what the service is really like for those of us who need to phone our GP.
Finally, I also raised with them again the point about the Minor Injuries Unit at Solihull Hospital. The CCG were keen to reassure me, and residents, that the move to Chelmsley Wood is only a temporary one in order to keep the Solihull Hospital site as a Covid-free location. This means that other vitally important non-Covid related treatments, surgeries and procedures can happen in safety for those who need to attend.
Rest assured, I will continue to monitor closely the situation with regard to health services across the Solihull constituency and ensure that we all receive the best possible healthcare.