‘Keep them in Daventry’ was the message from patients and the public at a meeting to discuss the future of blood tests at a GP surgery.
Danetre Medical Practice’s Patient Reference Group (PRG) called a meeting on Monday night to discuss the potential loss of several services, including taking blood for tests, from its practice.
Danetre MP is one of about 35 practices in the Nene Clinical Commissioning Group area which receives extra payments worth 8.5 per cent on top of its basic rate to provide personal medical services, but a review means that extra money will stop in April 2016.
That extra money has been used by Danetre to subsidise services like phlebotomy, ear syringing, leg ulcer care, and others where the contract to provide them does not cover the full cost in reality.
Practice manager Jo Gilford told the meeting the phlebotomy contract for one pays for 10 hours of service, but the practice provides 40 hours.
With the reduction in funding for the practice, all extra services and contracts not covering the cost of their delivery are being reviewed.
Mrs Gilford said: “There will be a lot of work over the next six months before April – we want to work together to see how we can deliver these services locally for patients.”
The fear among patients is that the services may be moved to Northampton.
Nene CCG said the 8.5 per cent of funds removed from around half its GP practices will be used to commission services like blood testing across the whole area. Its chairman Dr Darin Seiger said a review of blood testing had just been launched.
He said: “The review is to see how many blood tests we need, then we can work out the cost, and come up with a contract we can offer.”
Several members of the audience said they did not care if the service was run out of GP practices, a clinic at Danetre Hospital or elsewhere, as long as it remained in Daventry.
The representatives of Nene CCG said, although they could not pre-empt the outcome of the review, their aim was to keep services locally.
If Danetre MP stops providing the services in April local transitional services will be put in place.