Lighthorne Parish Council is partnering with 23 other local parish councils to campaign for timely and appropriate provision of primary healthcare at the Upper Lighthorne development. Former councillor Andy Smith continues to drive this.
A summary of updates provided in the minutes of the Parish Council meetings can be found below.
14 November 2023
Andy Smith reported: On 23rd June the ICB committed to select a GP practice by the end of October. They have reneged on that commitment and now say it will take until May 2024. The ICB appeared before SDC’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 3rd October where they came under rigorous questioning over the proposed down grading of the Ellen Badger facility in Shipston. Unfortunately this did not allow time for any discussion on Upper Lighthorne. The OSC meeting was live streamed for public consumption, but unfortunately no recording has been made available. We are lobbying SDC to make available such recordings in the interest of public scrutiny. The next opportunity for scrutiny of the ICB is at a private meeting with Sir Jeremy Wright scheduled for 23rd November. We are lobbying SJW and SDC to attempt to secure a firm schedule from the ICB, along with checkpoints and updates to give confidence that progress is being made.
10 October 2023
Andy Smith reported: We have no evidence to suggest that the ICB have meaningfully engaged with the three GP practices we know to have expressed interest in running a service at Upper Lighthorne. The ICB’s previously started target of selecting a GP practice by the end of October is fast approaching. We are aware of various meetings taking place and are ensuring that those chairing those meetings are fully briefed. Hopefully we will have some more substantive news in time for the November parish council meeting. Cllr Parry confirmed that Jeremy Wright MP is still supporting and will follow up with the ICB.
12 September 2023
Andy Smith reported: The ICB’s process for selecting a GP practice began mid July and was stated as ending in October. As such we are more than half way through the process. We understand from SDC that four GP practices are participating. We are engaged with three of those but are not certain of the fourth. The ICB is scheduled to appear before the SDC Oversight & Scrutiny Committee on 3rd November. We will ensure that the chairman of that committee is fully briefed on the latest situation so that pertinent questions can be asked. Tandem Projects of Newbold on Stour have been engaged by SDC to complete an options feasibility study for the village centre at Upper Lighthorne. This is scheduled to be complete at about the same time as the ICB’s GP selection. We engaged with their lead consultant very early to ensure that the objectives of the 24 parishes are fully understood. We continue to lobby SDC to keep up the pressure on the ICB.
11 July 2023
The ICB opened a period for Expressions of Interest from GP practices wishing to run the permanent health centre at Upper Lighthorne. This closed on the 7th July. The ICB have given themselves until 30th October 2023 to make their selection of GP practice, and until 2027 to establish a GP service in Upper Lighthorne. Radway has joined the parishes signed up to the Statement of Objectives, so we are now 24 parishes. We will seek to engage with those GP practices who are in the frame to run the permanent facility with the objective of persuading them to consult with the developers over the provision of a temporary GP service in Upper Lighthorne as soon as possible.
Report from GLH New Village Centre Exhibition 15th June 2023 – 3:30 to 19:00
Andy Smith attended on behalf of LPC. The developers of the Upper Lighthorne development held an exhibition in Lighthorne Heath regarding the Upper Lighthorne Village Centre Design Brief. There was a printed survey soliciting feedback. Information regarding surveys was circulated on social media and to the LPC email after the event.
13 June 2023
The ICB continue to delay the formal start of their GP practice selection process for Upper Lighthorne. Originally committed for completion this July, we now hear via a third party that this has slipped to August. As yet we know of no GP practice that has formally been invited to express interest or tender. Following district council elections a new core team of six has been formed to pursue this issue. The six are district councillors Mills (also county), Parry, Rock & Coles, along with Kineton parish councillor Gosling, and former parish councillor Smith. Cllr Coles is the SDC portfolio holder for health. Efforts to bring pressure to bear on the ICB continue. An exhibition on the design of the Upper Lighthorne village centre at Lighthorne Heath Village Hall will be open to all on Thursday 15th June from 15:30 to 19:30.
9 May 2023
Cllr Gosling (Chair, Kineton) & former Cllr Smith have met with Kineton Surgery partners and practice manager. We now know of two GP practices seeking to run a permanent health facility at Upper Lighthorne, both of which express a willingness to engage with the developers to explore options for a temporary facility. The ICB have yet to invite any practice to submit a proposal, which calls into question their commitment to the July date that they set themselves to make their GP selection. Lobbying will continue.
11 April 2023
A letter from the ICB shows them to be intransigent on the provision of a temporary health facility, with a permanent facility possibly over four years away. A meeting with SDC officers clarified that they share some of our concerns, although their conversations with the ICB’s Estates Manager give a hint of possible softening on this. The ICB previously committed to select a GP partnership for the permanent facility by July 2023. Cllr Smith will respond to the ICB letter shortly, and remains committed to this project for as long as the twenty three parishes wish him to continue, or until a temporary health facility is secured.
14 March 2023
Having secured a commitment from the NHS to support a permanent health facility at Upper Lighthorne, lobbying efforts are now focussed on securing a temporary health facility to bridge the gap until a permanent facility can come online, which could be as late as July 2027.
Extract from Chairman’s Report, Annual Parish Meeting, 13 March 2023
Last year I reported on some doubt over primary healthcare provision at Upper Lighthorne. Proactive lobbying has resulted in 23 parishes signed up to a joint statement of objectives, and together we have secured a commitment from the NHS Integrated Care Board that Upper Lighthorne will indeed benefit from a dedicated health centre. This may not be up and running until July 2027, and so our lobbying efforts are now directed at securing a temporary facility in Upper Lighthorne to arrest the steady stream of new residents having to register with existing GP practices that are already under strain. This is a complex area requiring persistent enquiry and engagement to ascertain facts and to bring responsible parties together. We should not have to do this, but I will continue my involvement as long as there is a need, and as long as the 23 parishes wish me to. We are grateful for the support of local county and district councillors in this, as well as our MP.
14 February 2023
SDC have appointed a project manager called Hannah Heath. There is a meeting of the Parishes on 17th February. The ICB have committed to select a GP partnership for the permanent health facility by July 2023. Cllr Smith continues to lobby for provision of a temporary facility, and has committed to continue with this project beyond the May elections.
10 January 2023
Cllr Smith continues his liaison with the other affected parishes to put together combined responses. Meeting with the ICB scheduled for 20th January, Sir Jeremy Wright to attend.
13 December 2022
Cllr Smith continues his liaison with the other affected parishes to put together combined responses. SDC have confirmed verbally that it is their responsibility to drive the process to achieve the best outcome for Upper Lighthorne and surrounding parishes. There is to be a meeting with the ICB in January in person at Elizabeth House, including Sir Jeremy Wright and all principal stakeholders. The agenda is agreed, as are the meeting objectives of the 21 parishes.
8 November 2022
This a proving to be a complex issue to resolve. Cllr Smith continues his liaison with the other affected parishes to put together combined responses. An online questionnaire is being prepared for public consultation.
11 October 2022
Cllr Smith is engaging with WCC Portfolio Holder Margaret Bell, The South Warwickshire Place Partnership, and other bodies who have an interest, and hopefully some influence. Twelve parishes have now signed up to our joint statement of objectives, with more expected. The next engagement with GB Partnerships acting for the ICB is scheduled for 20th October, to discuss stakeholder engagement. Another meeting with our MP is envisaged following this.
27 September 2022
Cllr Smith has a conference call scheduled for Friday 30th September with the Integrated Commissioning Board (ICB) and Sir Jeremy Wright MP. Cllr Smith will be representing the nine parish councils that have signed up to a Statement of Objectives for Primary Healthcare at Upper Lighthorne. Directly following this Cllr Smith will attend the Upper Lighthorne Support Partnership meeting in Lighthorne Heath, where the responses of the ICB will be considered. Cllr Smith has spoken with representatives of Fenny Compton, Bishops Itchington, and Combrook parish councils. If they decide to support the statement of objectives then collectively some 20,000 residents will be represented.
9 August 2022
Nine parish councils have now signed up to a Statement of Objectives for Primary Healthcare at Upper Lighthorne (available on the Meetings page of the LPC web site). These nine parishes have support from District and County councillors, and from our MP. On behalf of the nine parishes Cllr Smith is lobbying those responsible for deciding on primary healthcare provision, seeking an urgent meeting so as to better understand how and when their decisions will be reached.
12 July 2022
Cllr Smith has attended a meeting of concerned parties. It was resolved to adopt and support the Primary Healthcare Objectives proposal.
14 June 2022
It was resolved to press for full healthcare provision on site and proper consultation on the issue. All parishes have objected to the CCG’s current suggestion of outsourcing healthcare to local GP surgeries with possible small satellite on site in the future. It appears the process has been paused and possible proper consultation might now occur. The situation will be closely monitored.
Extract from Chairman’s Report, Annual Parish Council Meeting, 17 May 2022
The long term repercussions of the fiercely opposed decision to build 3,000 homes on our doorstep will continue to require monitoring and scrutiny. The latest aspect to come to our attention is a report that suggests the promised primary health care provision for GLH may be watered down, increasing pressure on existing GP services, increasing traffic through neighbouring communities, and failing to provide convenient and adequate provision for the 7,000 or so residents of the new settlement. As always, Lighthorne will play an active role in holding the authorities to account, and in coordinating the response from affected parishes. We are grateful for the support of local county and district councillors in this.
Agreed primary healthcare objectives
Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board
Sir Jeremy Wright
Our MP is supporting the campaign for primary healthcare provision.