Patients registered at Monument Surgeries in Pennywell are being urged to make sure they have their say about the proposed changes to their practice. 


Hundreds of patients have already shared their feedback via the survey since it was launched on 4 October. But with less than a week left before the survey closes (26 November), Sunderland GP Alliance, who hold the contract for the practice, is reminding patients that there is still time to have their say.  


Dr Emily Hadaway is Head of GP Clinical Services at Sunderland GP Alliance.  She said: “There is less than a week left before the survey closes and we really don’t want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to share their views. Your feedback is invaluable to us, so if you are a patient at Pennywell and you haven’t already had your say, I would urge you to do so now. 


“I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to complete the survey so far. People have been very honest with us and that’s exactly what we need so that we can understand how the proposed changes will affect patients before we do anything.    


“In recent years it has been increasingly difficult for us to keep services going in Pennywell and our prime concern is always the wellbeing of our patients and making sure they have equal access to the highest quality of care. 


“It is important that we are open and honest with people about the staffing challenges we face on a daily basis.  We simply cannot ignore these and feel services in Pennywell are now simply not sustainable in the long-term despite tremendous efforts over many years to attract and retain staff.   


“Like everyone working in primary care, we want to build resilient GP services which meet the highest possible standards for the people we serve.  We know in Pennywell that the quality of service is not what we want for our patients and so we need to make a change.” 



Due to ongoing and severe staffing challenges and a lack of permanent GPs at the practice, Monument Surgeries is considering the long-term sustainability of services in Pennywell.  This could mean the closure of the branch site in Pennywell. 


Despite relentless efforts over the past five years to recruit GPs to Pennywell, Monument Surgeries has continued to experience difficulty.  The branch site in Pennywell has been running solely with locum GPs and despite all best efforts to recruit a permanent salaried GP, there remains no substantive GP in place.    


Challenges are also being faced from a nursing perspective with a practice nurse only available two days a week, leaving services fragile and vulnerable.  For patients, the quality of services at Pennywell has undoubtedly been impacted and appointment availability is often very restricted due to the lack of staff. 


Around 2,700 patients who are currently registered at Monument Surgeries in Pennywell, have been contacted directly and asked for their views.  


Consultation with patients and stakeholders into the future of Monument Surgeries in Pennywell is running between Monday 4 October to Friday 26 November 2021.  A decision is expected at NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee meeting in early 2022.  


Click here for full details of the consultation and how to get involved.