Agenda item

Draft Decision Making Business Case - New Health Centres

NHS South Yorkshire to report



The Sub-Committee received a report setting out the draft Decision-Making Business Case which had been developed taking account of, and in response to, feedback from the public, other stakeholders and this Sub-Committee following a 10-week consultation exercise on the proposal to relocate some GP practices into new health centres.




Present for this item were Jackie Mills (Chief Finance Officer, Sheffield, NHS South Yorkshire), Abigail Tebbs (Deputy Director, Primary Care Estates and Digital, NHS South Yorkshire), Dr. Alice Deasy and Mike Speakman.




Jackie Mills introduced the report and stated that following on from the consultation, the business case had been developed and the draft recommendations were set out in Section 5 of the report.  She said that the proposal was for three new hubs to be built in the Burngreave, Fir Vale and Parson Cross areas, a fourth hub was no longer being pursued.  She said the draft Business Case would be presented to the NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (NHS SYICB) on 20th December, in advance of a presentation of the full business case on 4th January, 2023. The report asked the Sub-Committee to provide a formal response to the Draft Decision Making Business Case by 14th December 2022.




Dr. Alice Deasy said that from the Page Hall Medical Centre perspective, the scrutiny that had gone into this matter was really valued and had huge value to the Page Hall area.  She added that the Centre did not want to reduce staff costs and said they also shared concerns about derelict buildings as she valued the community she worked within and did not want to see vacated GP surgeries left empty.




Members made various comments and asked a number of questions, to which responses were provided as follows:-




·                It was recognised that there would be empty buildings once the practices had moved into the new hubs, but it was difficult to give a commitment, but it was something that would be given consideration to.




·                It was acknowledged that there were issues around transport generally and there was a need to look in more detail at the impact on patients on a practice-by-practice basis.  There was a commitment from the Mayoral Combined Authority that should demand be demonstrated, alternative proposals, diversion/rerouting of buses, etc., would be considered.  There could be revenue savings in the area, so there was a possibility that there would be resources to pay for a minibus.




·                The Page Hall practice was very positive about this for a number of reasons, one being the significant health inequalities in the area and also ownership of the building.  It was stated that the practice worked really hard, was financially stable and would not be “out of pocket” to move into a new building, but it was felt that it was the right way forward to provide the best health care to the area, but in the current building, there was simply not enough space to be able to do what it wanted to do. 




·                The principle was that costs would not be higher than practices were paying at present. It was realised that costs would be higher in the new buildings, although thenew buildings would be rent free, the service costs would be higher.  With regard to energy costs, the new buildings would be low energy carbon, so there would be savings elsewhere.




·                It was hard to measure the success of the project.  It was interested in measuring success of the whole programme in delivering primary care and decide upon the outcome.  In terms of the hubs, it would look at affordability of practices and whether recruitment had improved and to see if the developments had helped.  Simple measures such as access and access times was not necessarily helpful as so much more would be happening.




·                There was a need to set out an evaluation framework to look at the objectives and how they might be measured.  There was a need to understand the lessons that could be learned and deal with the issues highlighted in the areas at present.




·                Funding would be provided to discover the best and different ways of working, deliver the transformation programme and provide support to the Primary Care Networks and work with them to achieve what they were not currently achieving.




·                There had been a huge increase in need and demand for health care services across the board, and it was hard to judge on how much of this was a product of covid and it would remain to be seen as to whether this would settle down to historic levels. It was about the breadth and quality of services.




·                NHS South Yorkshire were looking at Primary Care Networks across the city as demand for that care had increased. A dashboard for primary care was being developed to see if there was a need to make adjustments to deliver on the wider needs of primary care and other funding routes, other than funding through the Government, would be explored.




·                 Beighton was one of the areas currently being worked on as the health centre there had been derelict for a number of years and plans were now in place to look at how to make the building sustainable and ensure the building would be well used.




RESOLVED: That the Sub-Committee agrees to delegate the development and submission of the formal response to the NHS to the Director of Legal and Governance in consultation with the Chair. The Chair invited Members to send through comments to  be included in the response by the 14th December, 2022.


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