Another practice goes up in smoke and the politicians and their paymasters rub their hands with glee , for the patient continuity of care will become a thing of the past.
A successful ‘vanguard’ practice is in talks about becoming a salaried service under the local trust’s control because its workload has left partners on the brink of ‘physical and emotional collapse’.
The Brune Medical Centre in Gosport, Hampshire has approached Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust about a potential takeover.
The 9,000 patient practice has three whole time equivalent GPs, and has been unable to recruit partners or salaried doctors for three years and have increasingly used nurse practitioners to cover gaps…………..
GP leaders have warned that the new models of care could lead to practices being ‘devoured’ by hospitals.
The majority of practices in the MCP vanguard remain independent contractors, though they are developing a new framework which would allow merged practices to be contracted as a provider arm of the trust…………
Brune Medical Centre’s senior partner Dr Stuart Morgan told Pulse that being part of the vanguard has helped the practice, but they could not ‘hold on’ until pressures abated.
Dr Morgan told Pulse: ‘We’re a popular and highly regarded practice locally, and yet we have succumbed. It just shows how vulnerable practices are, even medium-sized practices such as ourselves are vulnerable. It only needs one resignation or one retirement for the whole house of cards to come tumbling down.’
’While one would like to hold on and hope things would change through vanguard, and I’m sure they will, it’s too late for us.
Dr Morgan told Pulse they had turned to Southern Health because they ‘don’t want to hand back our contract and open up a tendering process, potentially including private sector providers.’
He added: ’It’s more than burnout; it’s reaching the point of physical and emotional collapse due to the sheer overwhelming pressure of workload.’
Dr Nigel Watson, chief executive of Wessex LMCs, told Pulse: ‘Part of the solution for [Brune Medical Centre] and others is, we’re looking at developing an employed model.
‘So the partnership model can survive, but those who would like to move to a model where the risk of property ownership and managing staff goes, where they’re paid a salary and work with other organisations, is possible.’