I’ve never been asked to take part in the annual Warrington GP Patient Survey but I would be happy to if selected.

The results of this year’s survey provide few surprises with some surgeries faring a little better than last year, some doing a little worse and some, according to the patients, doing really, really badly.

I’m happy for those who are registered with practices that are improving. It’s no mean feat to show progress after the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the well-documented pressures primary care providers are under.

I’ve mentioned before that I am a patient at Penketh Health Centre and this year’s survey has the practice languishing in its usual spot near the bottom of the list, showing little sign of improvement. If anything, things seem to have worsened. Last year it had a satisfaction rating of 62 per cent which has tumbled to just 51 per cent this time round.

I’ve still not made my mind up whether the service offered by Penketh Health Centre really is that bad or whether it’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy brought about by moaning patients. (Believe me, there is a hardcore of Penketh residents who will moan about anything and everything, as evidenced on numerous Facebook groups.)

For the sake of balance, I thought I’d share again my most recent interaction with Penketh Health Centre which took place at the start of the year.

Yes, I had to join the 8.30am phone line stampede. Yes, I was cut off without being able to get through and yes, I had to redial more than once.

But once I did get through, it was all pretty smooth. I was given an appointment to see a nurse practitioner that morning, less than two hours after I phoned up.

My ‘problem’ – a lump on my arm – was correctly diagnosed and I was referred to a specialist. I was seen by a consultant within the week and the lump was removed inside two weeks.

So had I been completing the GP Survey, I would have been pretty positive (apart from getting through on the phone, obviously).

So there are few complaints from me. Maybe I was just lucky but to be honest, this was pretty typical of my interactions with the practice.

On another subject, I note that LiveWire, the community interest company which runs the town’s leisure centres and libraries, is being taken back under the full control of the council. The plan is that this will happen by June next year although the aim is for it to happen sooner.

I suspect this is a good thing. LiveWire struggled during the pandemic when it had to shut up shop, losing its revenue income, and then stumbled straight into the energy crisis (and it takes an awful lot of energy to heat a swimming pool).

The council has had to make a number of emergency grants to keep LiveWire operational but it looks like this isn’t an option going forward under new state-aid legislation so ‘insourcing’ is the answer, it would appear.

But before we all get too excited, this isn’t quite a done deal. WBC has been advised by the government’s Competition and Markets Authority to conduct a ‘soft marketing’ exercise to see if there is a commercial operator who could take on LiveWire.

And this isn’t as unlikely as you might think. Watch out for Greenwich Leisure Ltd which operates under the brand ‘Better’. It is a non-profit charitable social enterprise organisation which runs more than 250 sport and leisure facilities and libraries on behalf of local authorities in London and across the UK.

I think the trade unions that represent LiveWire employees – Unison and the GMB – might want to speak to their colleagues in Unite the Union over their experience of dealing with GLL in the past. It doesn’t make for happy reading.

And finally, my thanks to reader Alan Rayner who wants me to stop writing about Boris Johnson, the Tories and Brexit.

Dear Mr Rayner, I will be happy to accede to your request and will stop mentioning the Tories, Johnson and Brexit just as soon as I get my promised Brexit benefits – you know the ones I mean, unicorns, sunlit uplands, cheaper food, cheaper energy and let’s not forget £350m a week for the NHS.

We were lied to and those Brexit lies are still damaging us. Pretending otherwise may work for you because it was seven years ago but it doesn’t work for me.