Latest news: The Lawns Surgery closure

Thursday 31st January, 2019

Dr Shlosberg, the GP Partner at The Lawns Surgery in Rustington, has formally informed NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), of his intention to retire this summer, and as a result The Lawns Surgery will close on 30 June 2019.

We know that Dr Shlosberg has made such a significant contribution to healthcare in the Rustington area over the last 24 years and he will be greatly missed by his patients.

On his decision to retire Dr Shlosberg said:

“I have not wanted this day to come but I have made a decision that I will be retiring at the end of June this year.

“It has been an absolute honour to be a doctor in this town and to serve the patients we have at The Lawns and I have been incredibly lucky over my career.

“I have the most incredible patients and I know from those that I have spoken to how valued The Lawns Surgery is to them all.

“I have tried to speak to as many of my patients face to face as possible and I am sorry if this is the first those reading this have heard of this news.

“There will be letters coming out to every patient over the next week and there will be drop in sessions and further information to explain the next steps.”

The CCG is now working closely with Dr Shlosberg and the GP practices in the Arun locality to consider the available options and how all of the patients at The Lawns Surgery can continue to receive the best possible care from 01 July 2019.

For patients at The Lawns Surgery there is no immediate change to how they receive their healthcare and they are being advised to continue to contact The Lawns Surgery in all of the normal ways if anyone needs medical help or care.

Support for patients at The Lawns Surgery

Dr Shlosberg is speaking to as many of his patients as he can and informing them of his decision and the next steps.

A patient letter is also being sent to all patients at The Lawns Surgery via Primary Care Support England, and is expected to be with patients next week. This sets out the reasons for Dr Shlosberg’s decision, what it means for them, how they continue to receive healthcare for the next five months, and the next steps.

Alongside the letter there will be a patient survey to understand from people what their concerns may be, how we can best support them, and how they want to be communicated with over the coming five months about this process.

The CCG is also organising drop in sessions at a local community venue in partnership with Healthwatch West Sussex so that patients can come and talk about the changes, and any concerns they may have. These dates will be advertised here, promoted by all GP practices and across the local community.

A dedicated phone line and email address has also been set up at the CCG to support patients at The Lawns Surgery and ensure there are clear channels where they can contact the team.

Dr Hannah Davies, Executive Medical Director at the CCG, said:

“It is our absolute priority to work with Dr Shlosberg and the team at The Lawns Surgery to support their patients through this change.

“We know how well loved Dr Shlosberg is by his patients and any change is not going to be easy.

“We will all do our best to make the next steps as easy and straightforward as possible for everyone.

“We know that previous moves in the town may not have been as seamless for patients as they could have been, and we are absolutely focused on that not being the case this time around.”

Next steps

The CCG’s priority is to make sure that all patients can continue to see a doctor and get medical help when you need to. For patients registered with The Lawns Surgery this continues to be with Dr Shlosberg at the practice and there is no immediate change to this arrangement.

Local residents are also being encouraged not to make any immediate decisions about registering at a different practice in the area.

Dr Shlosberg wanted to reassure:

“I am happy to talk to anyone about the next steps and to help my patients over the coming weeks and months.

“I am not going anywhere yet and The Lawns Surgery team and I will continue to be there for all of help and support you need as normal.

“Please don’t make any immediate decisions and think you have to change practices now, especially those who may have experienced moves before, stay with us and there will be a supportive process to help you move as we approach the summer.”

There are GP practices with ‘capped’ and ‘closed’ lists, which means that they are not currently taking on new patients. This includes Fitzalan Medical Group, which is closed as it addresses its requirements following its CQC visit, and The Park Surgery, which has temporarily stopped new registrations. The CCG is working with these practices and aims to have resolved this as part of the managed process to register all patients with an alternative practice.

The available options for this managed process are being developed and an options appraisal will go to the CCG’s Primary Care Co-Commissioning Committee for agreement. This is likely to be at the meeting in public in March 2019.

We will then work with all patients and the GP practice group in the Arun locality to ensure that any change is managed compassionately, sensitively and as seamlessly as possible for everyone.

Dr Davies also wanted to share our thanks to Dr Shlosberg:

“We really want to take this opportunity to thank Dr Shlosberg for his incredible service to the patients in the town. He has been such a central and critical professional within local health services and we know everyone will miss him when we reach the summer.”