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Independents' Day

GP practice takes on 10,000 patients in one go following CQC closure

Exclusive A GP practice in Brighton and Hove has taken on almost 10,000 patients overnight following the CQC’s immediate closure of a nearby surgery last week, Pulse has learned.

NHS England has assigned the entire 9,500 patient list from the Goodwood Court Medical Centre, which was closed a week ago following a CQC inspection, to the neighbouring Charter Medical Centre.

The Charter Medical Centre said it could not comment on how it would cope with the influx, referring instead to NHS England, which said the practice had ‘worked at pace to provide additional clinics and will also be employing additional staff to support patient care’.

NHS England said it was writing to all affected patients to explain the new arrangement after agreeing a contract with the GPs at the Charter Medical Centre that will provide ‘the additional resources it needs’ to secure access to local GP services to both its existing and new patients ‘at the same standard’.

A spokesperson said: ‘Following urgent action by the CQC to protect the safety and welfare of patients at Goodwood Court Medical Centre, NHS England’s priority has been to make sure patients can continue to access local GP services.’

NHS England suggested the GPs would cope with the thousands of extra patients through a combination of additional locum GPs, advanced nurse practitioners, nurses and other health support staff.

But the spokesperson added: ‘It will be up to the GPs at Charter Medical Centre to decide what they do as part of the contract.’

The Goodwood Court Medical Centre was closed immediately after inspection by the CQC on 10 June, leaving around 10,000 patients having to use a walk-in centre.

A report in the Argus said the CQC inspection came after the regulator received complaints about the practice from members of the public, but patients had not received any warning about the closure and appointments had to be cancelled at short notice.

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the CQC, said: ‘It would be a massive challenge for any practice to take in so many new patients so quickly and so this practice will need significant support and understanding from NHS England and the CCG to be able to do it effectively.

‘They will also need to be confident that they can recruit the necessary additional GPs and other staff to ensure they not only can rise to the challenge of providing a good service to their new patients but that they also do no compromise their current service to existing patients.’

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Readers' comments (9)

  • What was so bad that it required immediate closure?

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  • Transitioning 10,000 patients and records overnight?

    I wouldn't want to be a patient or doctor at that practice...

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  • no need to worry the deal will have been a very sweet one, they'll be ok. The Partner's at Charter surgery of course, not patients or the docs from the closed surgery.

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  • Russell Thorpe

    I envisage the WIC will still be very busy whilst the GP's decide how best to spend the extra money.

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  • will they be shut next year if they fail ?

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  • 10000 with funding for 10000 or the 7500 patients they'd get for the same population under GMS? If its for 10000, I'm sure the original practice could have implemented the changes with £182k of extra funding.

    Obviously don't know the whole story, but access was the biggest bellyache and Carr-hill underfunding probably sunk this practice.

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  • Looks like a shotgun wedding to me. I think they did something similar with some financial institutions a few years ago...don't think it worked out well for the tax payer.

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  • Expect more of this - Forced closure and rapid list growth. That way they can push the single-handers off a cliff with the Carr-Hill formula, mourn the damage it has done (blaming Labour of course) and then use the carnage to justify a new GP contract structure in 2017 which suits their aims.

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  • A poisoned chalice. Payment will be at a derisory £64 per patient . The new practice will soon be destabilised.

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