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Modality Mid Sussex Introductory Patient Newsletter Posted on 27 May 2021

Welcome to our first Modality Mid Sussex patient newsletter. We hope you find this update helpful; we would like to run quarterly update sessions via. Zoom or Live stream to ensure we keep you informed of our progress to date and provide updates on key topics. Please read on to learn more about our progress to date.

On behalf of the Mid Sussex Division of Modality Partnership, thank you for your support and feedback to date on the recent consultation relating to changes proposed to bring our four practices together to improve our services.

Modality Partnership currently operates four practices in West Sussex: Judges Close Surgery, Ship Street Surgery, Crawley Down Health Centre and Park View Health Partnership. Over the past 12 months, our surgeries have been facing significant challenges and providing continuity of healthcare during the pandemic has made us work in very different ways. Clinical and administrative staff on all four sites have been working very closely together and this has reinforced our view that as a larger practice working within the Modality Partnership, we can deliver better, more flexible and effective care than if we were on our own. Our ambition remains that together we can offer more localised services to our residents, continue to provide safe and effective care and improve the working environment for our staff teams. We will do this through greater cooperation and mutual aid, which will ultimately improve the culture and personalised care we can offer to our patients.

Feedback has been provided in several ways: online zoom meetings (with patients and also representatives from the Town Council), electronic and paper-based surveys.

We are pleased to share the results of our initial survey: 80% are happy with our suggestion to bring our four practices together to improve our services, compared to 20% that are not happy.

A number of questions have arisen following the feedback received and responses are provided below to help clarify queries raised:

How will this work in practice?

In practice, bringing our four practices together to improve our services means: an increase in access to doctors and nursing team members to help increase patient choice to see your preferred Doctor or health care professional; access to different patient services from various sites; improved capacity and resilience for all four practices to serve our local population. We will continue to work with patients to engage further around how services can be tailored in the most effective way.

Would you keep all sites open if Ship Street and Judges Close need improving? And A few years ago I believe there was talk of Ship Street and Judges Close surgeries combining on a common site, with enhanced facilities.  Is this under consideration? 

There are no intentions to close any sites. We are planning to optimise how we organise services across Ship Street and Judges Close sites given they are currently less than a 5-minute walk apart from each other.  Both sites require capital investments to make them more fit for purpose.  We believe there is significant potential for both sites to be transformed into a general practice and Community Care hub.

Can we be assured that we will still be able to access Ship Street Surgery as that is the most suitable place? Will the Ship Street practice remain on the same site? 

We are very mindful that we need to provide services in Central East Grinstead; we recognise the importance of a central site in East Grinstead town centre for patients to access service. Our current plans involve keeping Ship Street Surgery as a vital site from which we provide patient services.

Will there be a requirement to travel outside of East Grinstead to attend services?

Current services will be maintained in Central East Grinstead, though there may be alternative ways to access services and there may be choice offered for some services slightly further away, e.g. Crawley Down. We will continue to offer alternative methods of access to our services, such as remote consultations i.e. telephone and video to minimise additional travel requirements where possible. Likewise, Burgess Hill patients will not be expected to travel to East Grinstead for services unless this is requested.

Would it help gaining an appointment, parking?

We recognise that Parking at Judges Close and Ship Street is suboptimal. With a lot of work that was previously done face to face at our surgeries now being done via telephone, video or online consultation, this has changed. The offer of different types of consultations will continue, as it works well for many of our patients and frees up capacity for those patients who really need to be seen in person by a clinician.

You have said there will be no reduction in current site services, but if as you say you want to expand facilities at sites, how will this be achieved?

Services will be delivered appropriately from each site to ensure safe and effective services can be delivered at all times. Expanding facilities will enhance the number of services delivered currently and will ensure facilities are purpose built. An example being: trying to deliver hospital outpatients services in a community setting and improving links with Queen Victoria Hospital.

Your brief states recruitment, demand and refurbishing issues are the reason and advises that "multiple" sites will be still be operated - where will the sites be?

Services will still operate from the four sites within East Grinstead, Crawley Down and Burgess Hill; different services may be offered from the sites.

How does merging surgeries ensure you can recruit sufficient doctors and nurses to continue to manage separate sites?

Merging surgeries enables us to bring together resources from all sites to ensure services can be staffed appropriately to deliver safe services. We have been working in different ways over the last year to provide care to our patients in a timely manner. Sustaining these new ways of working is increasing our ability to recruit doctors and nurses to help us manage services safely at the respective sites.

As above, we would like to run innovative update sessions to ensure we keep you informed of our progress to date and provide updates on key topics. We welcome topics for discussion for the upcoming meetings; please email these to info@modalitypartnership.com.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Modality Mid-Sussex Partners

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