This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

'Cock-up' sees every practice paid wrongly

A single GP handling 6,000 patients and a practice run entirely by locums... just two of the flashpoints that has seen Nottingham reeling ­ by Rob Finch

Two practices in Nottingham are being taken over by a private company because of a chronic recruitment crisis blighting the city.

Nottingham City PCT has brought in Chilvers-McCrae to manage the practices after one was down to a single GP handling 6,000 patients and the other was being run entirely by locums.

The PCT has 21 unfilled GP vacancies and managers have admitted they are finding it increasingly difficult to attract GPs to the city.

But GPs have accused the trust of ill-thought out recruitment policies and said it had to 'grow up'. They added that bringing in private firms to manage practices would do nothing to improve recruitment problems.

Nick Gordon, chief operating officer for Chilvers-McCrea said it had been involved for a month with the Nirmala and St Albans practices in Nottingham and was hoping to sign contracts shortly.

The company has so far been contracted to run 13 practices in England, including a £6.25 million deal to run three singlehanded surgeries in Brighton.

But Dr Chris Udenze, a GP who used to work in one of the troubled practices, said he could not see how bringing in a company such as Chilvers-McCrae could help. He said: 'There's quite a problem getting partners and also getting good locums.'

Dr Simon Fradd, former GPC deputy chair, was scath-ing about Nottingham City PCT and had 'precious little sympathy' for its problems.

'They'll have to grow up at some point,' he said. 'My practice offered to take patients on a voluntary basis and we have not received one patien. They have not learnt from any of their initiatives or solutions.'

Dr Michael Varnum, vice-chair of Nottingham City PCT's professional executive committee, admitted he was baffled why Nottingham was so unpopular with potential recruits: 'It is a problem. We are having difficulties bringing GPs to the city. Why it should be Nottingham and not

Derby, Leicester or Bradford I have no idea.'

Dr Jonathan Harte, whose practice has been forced to close it list, said the PCT had to be 'more creative' with its recruitment policies.

'In certain areas there is a major crisis. The PCT have tried to recruit overseas but not very successfully.'

BLIGHTED?

·'Under-doctored' by 21 GPs

·One GP has list of 6,000 patients

·Practice stopped taking lunch hours except Thursdays

·Car thefts: 13.8 per 1,000 population (UK average: 4.5)

·Robbery: 6.9 (UK average 1.4)

·Sexual offences: 1.9 (UK average 0.9)

·Assault: 31.8 (UK average: 16.5)

BEAUTIFUL?

·Won Best UK City 2004 at the leisure industry awards

·National Water Sports Centre

·Angel Row Gallery

·Nottingham Lace Centre

·Nottingham Arena, National Ice Centre

·Nottingham Playhouse

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say