MP Vara steps in over ‘flawed’ process at Peterborough surgery

Patients at Botolph's Bridge health centre, near Sugar Way, have voiced concern at a tendering process.
Patients at Botolph's Bridge health centre, near Sugar Way, have voiced concern at a tendering process.

A disputed tendering process to run a Peterborough surgery needs to be stopped, according to city MP Shailesh Vara.

Mr Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire, has called for a halt on tendering at the Botolph Bridge Community Health Centre, in Sugar Way, due to what he said are ‘serious concerns’ on how it is being carried out.

Mr Vara responded after complaints from the health centre’s patient participation group (PPG) who believe the process is flawed and rushed.

Mr Vara has now written to regulating body Monitor.

A particular worry is that the tendering process, which began in January this year, is to finish before Christmas.

“The health centre is one of the better performing GP surgeries in Peterborough,” said Mr Vara.

“It is clear that serious concerns are being raised by the PPG regarding flaws in how this tendering process is being carried out.

“Due to the severity of these allegations, I think it is vital the current process is halted so there is time for these concerns to be properly addressed and to ensure the correct and proper procedure is being followed in this case.”

Geoff Catlin, acting vice chairman of the PPG, said he is unhappy with the behaviour of NHS England East Anglia during the process.

He claimed:“Patients have been continually ignored or bypassed throughout, in what we believe to be a seriously flawed process and one which has been continually subject to delay by this NHS authority.”

Catherine O’Connell, regional director of commissioning (Midlands and East) at NHS England said they will respond to the complaint.

She added: “NHS England in East Anglia has started the re-procurement process because the contract to provide GP services at Botolph Bridge Community Health Centre was originally secured through a competitive tender and expires in 2015.”