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GP Surgeries : Here Today , Gone Tomorrow ? GP Shortages And Government Targets

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:00 am
by Chris From The Gulag
An interesting one from today's Guardian ... I did suggest a two horse race a few months ago ... between GP surgeries closing and food banks opening ... who would win by the numbers ? ... ly-doctors

Why are so many GPs shutting up shop ?

Brighton and Hove has lost a quarter of its surgeries in two years, as pressure on the primary care sector takes its toll on family doctors across the country

Ridgeway will be the eighth GP practice in Brighton and Hove to close since February 2015. The local health watchdog estimates that up to a quarter of the city’s surgeries have shut since 2015, with more than 33,500 patients being forced to change GPs during that time. David Liley, chief officer of Healthwatch Brighton and Hove, says: “We have a situation where growing demand is being met by fewer people. We’ve heard of people who have had to change GPs not once, not twice, but three times.”

Brighton and Hove’s clinical commissioning group says: “It’s mainly due to the rising demand on services and the challenges being faced with recruitment and retaining GPs. This pressure is particularly felt in small single-GP practices and, of the eight recent closures, five had patient lists that were relatively small in number.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health says: “We are continuing to back primary care services, with 5,000 more doctors in general practice by 2020.” But there are doubts that the targets are achievable, with 3,000 new GPs due to be recruited mainly from mainland Europe. “Brexit is causing many European doctors to have second thoughts about coming to the UK,” says Vautrey. “They need reassurance, we know that Brexit is causing them concern.”
NHS to spend £100m bringing in up to 3,000 GPs from abroad
Read more

Back in Woodingdean, residents do not blame the two Ridgeway doctors for shutting up shop after 17 years at the practice. One is retiring and the surgery was unable to continue as a single-handed operation. But there is a sense of being messed around by a system that is bordering on dysfunctional. “People just panicked and they didn’t know what to do,” says Bobby Dalby, aged 78. “I think the whole thing has been handled badly by the NHS.”

Plenty of real meat in this one , worth reading in full .... especially if you are seeing the same on your manor.

Plenty of comments in the usual section , one at random from someone actually at ground zero :

I worked as a locum at Whitehawk road practice shortly before leaving the UK.

I was the sole doctor there for a roughly 5000 patient list, plus home visits alone in an area with high levels of drug addiction.

When I arrived there was a receptionist and an instruction book for the computer software.

There didn't appear to be a practice manager, presumably because it was one of the practices managed at arms length either by the PCT or a larger business.

I was told there was a nurse but they were not there the days I was.

It was a well maintained, friendly appearing place, but who would stay to work there ?

It was as far as I could see completely unsupported on the ground in an area with huge social deprivation issues.

You were never going to be able to hit government targets, leaving the practice chronically underfunded.

For this, as a sole partner, your salary would be at the bottom of the scale while GPs in group practices in 'nice' areas would have a quarter the stress for twice the salary or more.

Food banks ... or GP surgeries ... the bet is still on.

Bookies are offering 4-5 on each , and cannot split the two.

Whichever wins , it will be a devastating result ?


A little irony .... ?

What would be the effect on GP surgeries IF low millions of carers played by the " Unofficial " Rule Book ?

Stopped being unpaid doctors and nurses themselves , and referred their caree to the local surgery on every occasion ?

Guilty as charged many times over during my stretch .... how about you ... ???

An average nurse receives , on average , 10 times more than an average carer receives in Carers Pittance.

A doctor ? Around 30 times.

And yet , at times , who are the REAL professionals ???

Re: GP Surgeries : Here Today , Gone Tomorrow ?

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:51 am
by Colin_1606
We are living in a phase of "Pass the Buck" which extends across the whole of all businesses and professions. We need to stop looking abroad for doctors who are not properly trained any way!. this is why the UK have a very serious medical situation concerning so called doctors. If you look at most hospital and count the foreign doctors compared to the true English trained doctors, the ratio is very high towards the foreign doctors. When foreign doctors come to work in the UK it is most likely that they come to get experience not to work as a professional. How many doctors entering the UK to work are independently checked for qualifications, or don't we care any more?.

The system in the UK is to blame for this for letting it happen. It has now got that bad, that it has spread like a epidemic because the foreign doctors are taken the money out of the NHS, which is struggling to finance the service anyway. This will continue to draw funds away from crucially needed services.

We are talking about the CARE profession not an overnight way of making a fortune. I hope that BREXIT does stop nontrained doctors coming to the UK and I hope it stops other similar situations.

Re: GP Surgeries : Here Today , Gone Tomorrow ?

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:49 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Even more disturbing article allied to the first posting ... National Health Executive web site : ... istration-

Half of GP leads considering closing patient registration.

More than half of GP service leads in England would consider temporarily suspending new patient registration to focus on delivering safe care to patients already registered, a survey released today has revealed.

The BMA surveyed 1,870 GP practices in England to gauge whether funding, workload and staffing pressures were leading bosses to consider suspending new patient registration in order to protect safety.

The results showed that 54% would consider this, whilst 44% also added that they would be in favour of applying for a formal and permanent list closure from NHS England.

It shows that rapidly growing demand for services and understaffing in general practice could soon have a directly negative impact on patient safety as people will struggle to find a GP that is capable of accommodating new patients.

“The fact that even a single surgery has reached the point where it would consider a suspension of new patient registration or closing its patient list fully shows that government promises to rescue GP services have failed to materialise,” Dr Richard Vaultrey, BMA GP committee chair, stated.

“Despite the hard work of GPs, nurses and practice staff, many GP practices are struggling to cope with the rising number of patients coming through their doors because of a lack of necessary funding and widespread staff shortages.”

A third of GP practices also informed the BMA that they have vacancies that have gone unfilled for 12 months, whilst nine out of 10 have described their workload as often unmanageable.

“This is placing an intolerable pressure on local GP services, especially as they increasingly need to deliver intensive, specialist care in the community to the growing number of older patients with complex health conditions,” Dr Vaultrey continued.

“In recent years some GP practices under considerable pressure have already taken the step of suspending their practice list in order to maintain patient safety.

“The government needs to understand that this landmark survey sounds a clear warning signal from GPs that cannot be ignored, and that the workload, recruitment and funding crisis in general practice must be addressed with far more vigour and commitment.”

The chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, argued that it was bad news that a measure as extreme as this was even being considered by doctors.

“No practice would ever consider closing their list to new patients if they were not seriously concerned about their ability to cope with their increasing workload and deliver care to patients safely,” she said.

“The RCGP has shown numerous times over the last few years that nowadays, UK family doctors making 60 patient contacts a day is commonplace – and that they are routinely working intensive 11-hour plus days in clinic.

“GPs who are fatigued are more likely to make mistakes – so these working conditions are potentially a risk to our patients’ safety.

“The results of this survey are a call for help,” she concluded. “We need the pledges in NHS England’s GP Forward View – including £2.4bn extra a year for general practice and 5,000 more full-time equivalent GPs – delivered in full, and as a matter of urgency.”

Another one which will smoulder on ... before catching fire ?

Re: GP Surgeries : Here Today , Gone Tomorrow ?

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:52 am
by Chris From The Gulag
GP surgeries in decline ... and new doctors seem to be in short supply : ... 67151.html

Jeremy Hunt's GP recruitment pledge in tatters as 1,000 full-time NHS doctors quit last year.

Government is 1,200 doctors further from its target to recruiting an extra 5,000 GPs, set in 2015.

The NHS has lost the equivalent of 1,000 full-time GPs in the past year as "unbearable" workload pressures and funding shortfalls drive out doctors.

The figures – which contradict a pledge from the Health Secretary to recruit an extra 5,000 GPs by 2020 – have been described as "gravely concerning" by doctors' leaders, who warn that the shortage will lead to increased waiting times at surgeries already struggling to cope with over-subscribed patient lists. They also come as the Chancellor faces mounting pressure to hand over more cash to the health service in Wednesday's Budget, with NHS boss Simon Stevens making an unprecedented plea for extra money earlier this month.

While there are around 41,324 doctors working in general practice, 500 fewer than two years ago, the pressures of the job mean they are increasingly working less than the NHS definition of “full-time”, opting instead for freelance work.

The Department of Health said more GP trainees are in the pipeline, and it has plans to allow GPs to work flexibly, but there has been a steady decline in GP numbers since March 2016. The latest provisional figures show no sign of this slowing.

Despite £20,000 incentives to attract trainees and attempts to hold on to senior staff, the NHS is now 1,200 GPs further away from its target of recruiting an extra 5,000 GPs by 2020 than when it was first set by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in September 2015.

The Department of Health baseline at that time was 34,592 full-time GPs, but two years on the September 2017 figures show overall numbers stand at 33,302.

But this overall total also includes GPs in training and the growing proportion of GPs working freelance or part-time as locums to better control their workload.

A footnote from NHS Digital warns this overall figure is artificially inflated by changes in how numbers are reported, which saw 300 extra GPs added overnight.

“The subsequently higher GP locum numbers reported in March 2017 are not comparable to previous figures in the time series due to indications that this additional guidance has led to more accurate reporting of GP locum staff,” NHS Digital says.

The biggest decrease has been among GP partners, who make up the bulk of the workforce, falling from 21,937 in 2015 to 20,234 this September.

This is offset slightly by an increase of around 300 full-time equivalent salaried GPs, who are employed by practices on permanent contracts, and locums.

Locums can earn significant amounts with many practices struggling to fill vacancies, and they are able to book their work which makes it a popular for GPs with families or those looking to take on other “portfolio” roles.

A study earlier this year found almost half of GPs were planning to quit or cut down their hours amid warnings of “perilously low morale”.

The steady decline in numbers shows these fears are being borne out, and this summer the NHS announced it was resorting to recruiting as many as 3,000 GPs from Europe to fill the gaps.

GP representatives from the British Medical Association told The Independent the continued decline was “not a surprise” because, despite the pledged funding increases, “this is just not reaching practices”.

Perhaps the Government should set easier targets ?

Simply paint a bullseye on the forehead of each Minister ???

Or , for some , on their back ???